David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing
After two months of negotiations and escalating pressure, it appears the congressional super committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions will fail to reach a deal by its deadline. Its members are expected to admit that failure later today. David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, gives an analysis of the situation.
Hawkings on the likelihood the cuts will go into effect in 2013: "At this point one would have to predict that these triggers would be put in place at the start of 2013. There will be a lot of arguing about this during the next year. Budget politics will be an enormous aspect of the 2012 campaign. But to be honest, there's no reason to believe that if Congress can't agree on how to cut the deficit on its own, there should also be no reason to believe that Congress could come up with an agreement to wriggle out of this very punishment that they imposed on themselves this summer. And it would take an act of Congress and a presidential signature to alter them, or to end them."
On dealing with the payroll tax breaks and unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of this year: "There's a lot of pressure on Congress to extend the jobless benefits, and to extend the payroll tax they agreed to last fall. Economists say that they both have helped spur job creation, and allowing that to expire at the end of December could rattle an already fragile employment recovery system."
On the support Newt Gingrich is receiving from his former colleagues in Congress: "Almost none. He was the Speaker from 1995 to 1998. He has the support and endorsement from only two House Republicans who were in office with him at that time, and the support of only about four other House members."