Sequestration, Medicare Cuts: Likely Result From Fiscal Cliff Talks
President Barack Obama is returning to Washington, D.C., today, cutting short his holiday vacation, to prompt further negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff. However, senior officials in both parties are beginning to resign to the fact a deal to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts by the new year is unlikely, according to a Politico report.
If Congress and the president cannot agree to a debt bargain, a plan known as sequestration will go into effect in January. This includes tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and across-the-board spending cuts on domestic programs, including Medicare. Medicare providers would lose $11.1 billion in Medicare payments in 2013, and over the next decade, Medicare providers stand to lose $120 billion.
Discord was recently palpable in the House of Representatives, where Republicans were not able to agree on their own grand bargain proposal. Congressional leaders and aides are now saying the White House's last-resort plan will be a "nonstarter" for Republicans in both the Senate and House, according to Politico's report.
According to a Democratic aide in the report, unless House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell go against tea party Republicans who have vowed to not support any tax increases, "then I see nothing happening."
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