By next Friday, the Senate and House are supposed to have reached agreement on a budget package, one of the to-do items coming out of the October government shutdown. It seems highly unlikely that any big deal will result, for a variety of reasons. But two were predictable: Congress is very polarized, and bipartisan budget committees rarely make big deals.
NBC News reports on Monday that there’s “some optimism” that the Democratic-led Senate and Republican-led House will come to agreement — but only around “a very small deal.” The budget conference committee was meant to reconcile budget bills passed by each chamber earlier this year, and was given until December 13 to finalize a proposal under the deal that ended the shutdown. But as National Journal noted last week, every little point of contention results in a large argument, both from inside the room and lobbyist pressure. That very small deal — if any — will likely include some agreement around the level of government sequestration, the spending cuts that kicked in earlier this year and are scheduled to increase in January. Continue reading “The Two Obvious Reasons a Big Budget Deal Isn’t Likely”