WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

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Little Progress On Federal Budget Talks

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Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are now debating how to divert steep budget cuts that would hit this region particularly hard. 

Remember the super committee — the board appointed to negotiate budget cuts as part of the debt ceiling deal reached last year? Its failure to find trillions of dollars of savings within the federal budget has set in motion a process called sequestration that will indiscriminately chop hundreds of billions of dollars from the federal budget. 

Analysts predict those cuts would fall particularly hard on the economy in the D.C. region because there are so many contractors and federal employees in the area. Lawmakers are also preparing to extend tax cuts, possibly just for those making less than $250,000 a year. 

But the way Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) sees it, extending the tax cuts when the country has to cut significantly from the budget is a bad idea. Instead, he'd like to see lawmakers combine the tax talks with the sequestration conversation.

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