Parties Discuss Sequester Working Groups

A few members of Congress are now proposing House-Senate working groups to try and negotiate a compromise that would avoid the squester. From The Hill:

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said that forming the bipartisan working groups would be a critical piece in getting lawmakers in both chambers on the same page, regarding the automatic defense cuts under sequestration.

"I see that as the [main] step forward right now," Ayotte said on Tuesday of the planned House-Senate working groups.

It is good to see members of Congress moving to address this issue now, as it will be difficult to leave all of these negotiations until the lame duck session. In the meantime, the private sector is already preparing for the fallout.

These talks are a start, but both sides are going to have to overcome great hurdles before we see any change to the sequester. House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said that Democrats had discussed the idea of working groups, but highlighted the challenges that any effort will face. Specifically, he said:

My position is pretty straightforward. We have to find $1.2 trillion, revenue has to be part of it and we can’t separate out defense. I don’t want to see transportation and housing and education devastated any more than I want to see defense devastated.

Fixing the fiscal cliff will be difficult, so efforts to get the talks going are positive. However, real comphrensive reform will require sacrifices from both parties, and until both sides are willing to come to an agreement our nation's future will remain uncertain.  

The full story can be found here.