The sequestration cuts maybe one of the worst policies Congress has ever knowingly created yet with each passing day the chance of them actually going into effect grows. We are now three weeks away from the cuts going into effect and Senate Democrats still haven’t even come up with what would be an opening proposal for negotiations. From The Hill:
Senate Democrats are struggling to come up with a replacement for the $85 billion sequester set to begin on March 1.
Key Democrats huddled Thursday in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office to discuss options for preventing the looming spending cuts after returning from a retreat in Annapolis where they discussed strategy with President Obama. [...]
A Democratic aide said Reid has asked senators to give him options on replacing the sequester before they leave for a long President’s Day recess on Feb. 15.
Even if Senate Democrats do put together a package after the President’s Day recess, that would leave very little time for negotiation. It also sounds like that package would be primarily about having something to point to in order to avoid blame rather than making a deal.
Most members of Congress seem to believe the sequestration cuts are bad but for some absurd reason simply repealing them is off the table. Yet at the same time even within the two parties there is little agreement about what should replace the cuts. This lack of any concession significantly increases the chance that nothing will be done.
Photo by Thomas Hawk under Creative Commons license