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Super committee deadline looms

A Joint Deficit Reduction Committee hearing October 26, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Steve Chiotakis: Still no deal among the bi-partisan super committee members that are charged with finding big cuts in the federal budget. Republicans refuse to look at any deal that doesn't make significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid; the Democrats are holding out for more tax revenue.

Marketplace's Amy Scott is with us live now with the latest on that story. Hey Amy.

Amy Scott: Good morning

Chiotakis: So walk us through what actually happens a week from today -- or I should say Wednesday, right -- if the committee can't come up with something by Wednesday.

Scott: Everyone goes home and eats turkey. And I'm only partly kidding. There are really two big deadlines here: the committee has to come up with a deal by November 23rd. Congress is supposed to approve the deal by December 23rd -- right before Christmas.

I talked to Chuck Gabriel at Capital Alpha Partners. ANd he says Congress will probably find a way to buy more time before this first deadline.

Chuck Gabriel: That would mean we'd have our Thanksgiving dinner with a great deal of uncertainty remaining. Yet we'd probably wrap things up in time to enjoy a pretty good Christmas.

Chiotakis: I can't help, Amy, but remember that S&P downgraded our debt last time we couldn't come up with a debt deal. Should we be worried about this?

Scott: Yeah, well Gabriel says the ratings agencies have signaled that they're unlikely to downgrade the U.S. credit rating further. That's because if they can't strike a deal, automatic cuts will kick in starting in 2013, split between defense and non-defense spending. So unless Congress tries to reverse those cuts which would get the deficit more manageable.

Chiotakis: Marketplace's Amy Scott reporting for us this morning. Amy, thanks.

Scott: You're welcome.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.
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