On Aug. 2, with the nation on the brink of its first-ever default on the national debt, the option of punting the tough decisions to a “super committee” with a fixed deadline seemed like a good way out. But now, just eight days out, many lawmakers are signaling buyers’ remorse.
For some, it’s the fact that the committee has conducted its work almost entirely in secret, but for the occasional unconfirmed leak. For others, it’s the prospect of cuts to signature programs – or tax hikes – with no further say for Congress, other than an up-or-down vote.
By law, the joint deficit reduction committee must report to Congress by Nov. 23, and both the House and Senate must take the plan to a simple majority vote, without possibility of amendment or filibuster.