The contours of an emerging budget deal would provide Congress with a way out of most of the coming landmines ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
A House source, cautioning that there is no final agreement at the moment, sketched out the details of the agreement in an email to Business Insider.
It would raise spending levels equal amounts both in defence and non-defence areas and avert a potential government shutdown in December, while also tackling a glitch that could raise Medicare premiums for many seniors next year.
The New York Times reported that the deal would “call for cuts in spending on Medicare and Social Security disability benefits.” Beneficiaries of the Social Security disability system face steep cuts next year unless Congress acts, as the fund is set to run dry.
Attached to the deal would be separate legislation to raise the nation’s debt limit well past the 2016 election. The Treasury Department has warned that Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling by November 3 to avoid a potential first-ever default.
This agreement would allow both sides to claim victory on the issue — Democrats will claim they got their desired “clean” debt-ceiling increase, while Republicans would be able to claim some concessions, since it would move along with the broader budget deal.
From the source:
The emerging agreement would be for two years and achieves parity in the sequester relief between defence and non-defence investments.
The sequester package would also address the Medicare Part B issue, protecting millions of seniors from significant increases to their premiums and deductibles.
Additionally, attached to this package will be a CLEAN suspension of the debt limit until March 2017.
The source said that the announcement of a final agreement could come as soon as Monday night.
The agreement could be controversial among the Republican caucus in Congress and with the party’s presidential field, which is set to take the stage Wednesday for their third debate of the cycle. A “clean” debt-ceiling increase, in particular, has no support whatsoever from the party’s influential conservative wing.
But House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has sought to “clear the deck” for his likely successor, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), before Boehner leaves Congress at the end of the week.
Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said Monday that negotiations are ongoing. White House press secretary Josh Earnest
“It is imperative that we avoid yet another manufactured crisis that threatens the American economy and jobs. But we must do it in a responsible manner,” Reid said.
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