Congress today begins its last week in session before the Christmas recess. Among the top items on its agenda: the federal budget.
Funding for the government expires in mid January and a second round of sequester cuts is looming, which beg the question: Will we have another government shutdown, like we did in October, which lasted for 16 days? And could the government default on any debt payments--which was also a worry, though not a reality, during the October budget battle?
The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task posed those questions to some of the panelists at a Hamilton Project conference on Supporting America's Lower-Middle-Class Families, last week. They all agreed there will be a budget deal, albeit a minor one, so no shutdown and no debt default.
"I think there will be agreement," said Roger Altman, executive chairman of Evercore Partners and a former deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury. "There will be some package which alleviates the impact of the sequester, substitutes other cuts ...