Lawmakers will again turn their attention to deficit reduction this summer, with a fight over the federal debt limit looming in August.
The battle lines on deficit reduction are well-trodden: Republicans want spending cuts alone (especially when tied to raising the limit on debt the nation can hold), while Democrats want a blend of spending cuts and increased revenue.
Again, the two parties’ budget proposals can give us some insight into what this debate will like look like: Republicans said their budget would balance in 10 years relying almost primarily on spending cuts, repealing the Affordable Care Act and overhauling Medicare. Obama’s budget includes higher taxes on the wealthy, but also reforms meant to slow the growth of entitlement spending, which has liberals incensed, as evidenced by those in the Minnesota delegation.
In 2011, Congress passed a two-part deficit reduction package associated with increasing the debt limit: $1 trillion in agreed-upon spending cuts and the much maligned sequestration. If that summer is any guide, raising the debt limit will a struggle, and the next great fiscal fight Congress takes on.