The U.S. House is expected to recess Friday until after the election with the so-called “fiscal cliff” looming January 3rd.
The inside-the-beltway term for it is “sequestration,” automatic across the board cuts will kick in January 3 if Congress cannot decide on mandatory budget reductions by then. Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy says its serious stuff, "If an agreement isn’t reached by both chambers in both parties, the automatic cuts will occur. We think there’s a better way to do it instead of using the bludgeon. We want to look at this budget and see where we can make those savings to have the most effect.”
His Democratic challenger, former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow says they should stay in Washington, “The Congressman’s statement makes clear: They’re done trying to do any actual work for the rest of the year. When you just talk about kicking the can on down the road while you’re still in session, it tells me, you’re not serious, you’ve never been serious about real, long-term budgeting and long-term deficit relief.”
Kreitlow says last week’s Congressional vote to pass a continuing resolution keeping government funding through March pushes the country closer to the fiscal cliff. “So they have the lights on, but they still bring in these cuts that would still do horrible cuts to our military, to the social safety net, to a whole host of programs that are going to lead, as many have predicted, to a double-dip recession.”
However, Duffy says waiting until after the election is the right move, “Especially as we move forward in this lame duck session, there’s a lot of things that have to be addressed. To move it down about six months when we can handle it again and really address some of these specific issues is the right way to go.”
Congress has to decide on a 10 year, $1.2 trillion deficit reduction plan or sequestration will kick in.