Beyond Thanksgiving, and another $400 billion

After the failure of the so-called “super committee,” Washington is turning its attention toward a handful of looming December deadlines.  The question for lawmakers is how to deal with all of them.

The Hill reports on what Senate Democrats have planned:

…the Senate will move next month to take up legislation that could add more than $400 billion to the deficit. 

All of the proposals, such as the extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, are popular but there’s no agreement on how to pay for them. 


But enacting what many lawmakers consider “must-pass” legislation will not come cheap, either. 

Extending unemployment benefits for one year will cost $44 billion, spread over two years. 

Patching the Alternative Minimum Tax to keep middle-class families from its snare will cost roughly $70 billion for one year. 

Saving doctors from scheduled cuts in Medicare payments for one year will cost $22 billion. 

Extending expiring business tax provisions, including the research and development tax credit, will cost between $30 billion and $40 billion.

When you add in the need to pass a government funding measure, there is a lot for Congress to do in just one month.  On top of it all, lawmakers in the House and Senate want to move a transportation bill and an aviation bill.

Enjoy Thanksgiving, because we’re in for a long ride!


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