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CQ Roll Call: Obama Not Likely To Step In On Super Committee

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David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing

With the Nov. 23 deadline looming for the congressional super committee to reach an agreement on $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions,  there is no deal in sight. Some Republicans are calling on President Obama to step in. David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, talks with WAMU Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey about what to expect for the rest of this week. Here are some highlights: 

Is the president likely to step in?

"Things seem close enough to a lasting impasse that the president would not be able at this late hour to come in and talk both sides off of their positions -- especially not the Republicans," Hawkings says. 

In addition, "The Republicans obviously want him to get involved, in part because if there is a continued impasse after that, he'll get part of the blame," Hawkings says. 

Why is a last minute deal not likely this time, unlike with the government shutdown or the debt default scares earlier this year?

"There's no similar immediate consequence for failure that is facing the super committee," Hawkings says. The cuts that a failure would trigger don't take effect until January of 2013.

"That in theory buys Congress plenty of time to figure out a workaround for this punishment that they imposed for themselves," he says. 

With the president still in Asia, will he have to auto-sign the appropriations bill that will have to be passed this weekend to continue funding the government?

"If he doesn't get back by midnight tomorrow, he feels he'll have to use an auto-pen. There has been some controversy over whether signing the bill with an auto pen is a real signature," Hawkings says. "Some purists said it was not okay, but the White House cites memoranda from the Justice Department saying it is okay."


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