The co-chairmen of the joint congressional committee charged with developing a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit by at least $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years have set the committee's first meeting for Sept. 8. The announcement described the initial meeting as an organizational one where the committee's operating rules would be adopted.
Co-chairs, Rep. Hensarling (R-TX) and Sen. Murray (D-WA), also announced that the committee's first hearing will be Sept. 13. Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, will present testimony during the hearing titled, "The History and Drivers of Our Nation's Debt and Its Threats."
If the committee fails to make recommendations totaling at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction by Nov. 23 or if its recommendations are not enacted by Congress by Dec. 23, automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, would begin Jan. '13. A majority of the committee's 12 members are required to approve any recommendations and legislative language.
Deficit Reduction Committee Timeline
Sept. 8: Organizational meeting of joint committee.
Sept. 13: First hearing of joint committee.
Oct. 14: Deadline for standing committees to forward their recommendations to joint committee.
Nov. 23: Deadline for joint committee to vote on legislative proposals, with a 10-year deficit reduction goal of $1.5 trillion.
Dec. 2: Deadline for joint committee to formally report proposals.
Dec. 23: Deadline for House and Senate to vote on proposals, without amendment.
Jan. 15: Deadline for enactment of at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, or across-the-board spending cuts will be triggered.
Jan. 2, '13: If triggered, across-the-board cuts will take effect.