Debt Ceiling Agreement Reached >>

August 5th, 2011

Debt Ceiling Agreement Reached

As reported by every media outlet in the country, the process of reaching a debt ceiling agreement was dysfunctional, disappointing, and angst-ridden, culminating in the House passing the agreement on August 1 and the Senate passing it on August 2 and signed by the President that day also. The agreement, among other things, calls for a $917 billion reduction in projected domestic spending over the next decade, starting with a $21 billion reduction in the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1 (FY12). The funding cuts will be achieved by imposing spending caps, with the exact allocations to be determined by Congress. Further, the agreement calls for the creation of a “Super Committee” to be comprised of 6 Republican Members and 6 Democrat Members to find by Thanksgiving at least $1.2 trillion more in funding reductions over the next decade. Congress must vote on the “Super Committee’s proposal on an up-or-down basis without any amendments by Dec. 23, 2011. If the “Super Committee” does not act or if Congress does not adopt its recommendations by January 1, 2013, then a penalty “trigger” would kick in, cutting governmental spending across the board by $1.2 trillion over 10 years with the reductions split 50-50 between domestic programs and defense.

With this debt ceiling agreement, Indian country must do all that it can to educate Members of Congress, including the members of the “Super Committee,” and the Obama Administration about the United States’ treaty and statutory obligations to Indian tribes and Indian people to ensure that its programs are held harmless in the face of efforts to seek cuts and well as to urge that members of the “Super Committee” have a background on Indian issues.

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