Opinion | Politics

Mark Trahant: Lawmakers back in DC as sequester cuts loom

"The sequester begins in three days -- and lawmakers (fresh from vacation) are working on competing proposals to do something.

“The dueling votes could take place as soon as Wednesday, but a senior Democratic aide said Thursday is the more likely date,” The Hill newspaper reported. “Each proposal must garner 60 votes to pass, and there is no Plan B.”

The Democrats’ plan would replace the sequester through Jan. 2, 2014, and it “includes half new revenue and half responsible spending cuts, with half of the spending cuts coming on the defense side in a way the Pentagon can implement responsibly, and the other half coming from smart reductions to domestic spending.”

The most controversial part of this plan is that it would legislate the “Buffett rule,” the idea that millionaires pay a minimum tax of 30 percent. It also limits tax deductions for costs for outsourcing and eliminates provisions for oil companies.

But there are probably not 60 votes for such a plan. The Republicans have their own plan, but even that, is not certain to win support from other Republicans."

Get the Story:
Real numbers, competing plans, and 3 days (Mark Trahant 2/26)

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