Time to breathe a sigh of relief? Or no? Although Congress and the White House have reached a tentative deal to raise the debt ceiling, the road ahead is long. Here’s a look at the milestones—and the canceled recesses--that are ahead.
Monday, August 1: Congressional approval of the plan announced by President Obama is pending. Vice President Joe Biden will meet with Democrats in the House and Senate. The Senate is set to vote on the bill, although the time is not set. Democratic aides say they expect the bill to pass quickly. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has also said he wants a vote on Monday. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., told Reuters, "The speaker wants us out of town by tomorrow, he wants this done."
The next step: Naming a super committee. Six Republicans and six Democrats, half from the House and half from the Senate, will be named to the committee. The decisions won’t come easily—they are being negotiated by a divided Congress and the White House.
In the fall: The super committee will work on a bill that will have to eliminate at least $1.5 trillion more in cuts without touching Social Security or Medicaid spending. Any cuts targeting Medicare must affect only providers, not beneficiaries.
Thanksgiving: The super committee’s proposal is due sometime around the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Let’s hope they have more success than the "Gang of Six," the group assembled by Biden, or last summer’s deficit commission.
Before the Christmas recess: The super committee’s proposal is due for a vote. Should the proposal fail to pass quickly, Christmas recess could be delayed.