Lawmakers may have left town, but some are already readying the groundwork for lame duck sequester negotiations.
A bipartisan group of six senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying that a sequestration alternative has to be decided upon before January, and calling for any bipartisan proposals to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation by November.
The letter, addressed Sept. 21, was signed by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., John McCain, R-Ariz., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. They stress the need to pass a bipartisan, long-term deficit reduction plan to avoid the sequestration and "provide as much certainty as possible for businesses and consumers."
The letter highlights looming cuts such as those to the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and to federal education funding.
See the full letter after the jump.