Congress is once again at an impasse and running out of time to make a deal to lower the country's debt, according to wide spread reports. The so-called 12-member congressional "super committee" is still split along party lines on how to cut $1.2 trillion from the budget over the next decade. The group has a November 23 deadline to come an agreement.
"I don't read more into the hour-to-hour, day-to-day reports than you should," says Jack Lew the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the accompanying interview with The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task and Daniel Gross.
With Europe in serious crisis over their rising borrowing costs and this summer's debt downgrade, U.S. lawmakers are very well aware of the stakes.
Will it allow for compromise? Lew thinks so.
"It's still premature to say it's not going to get there. The fact that there's discussion and movement leaves me still more optimistic than most," he says. "One way or another, I believe, Congress will act. It is a very important thing for confidence in our government's ability to make decisions for that to happen sooner than later."
If they fail to strike an accord, $1.2 trillion in cuts - half coming from the defense budget - automatically take effect. Lew says that automatic trigger is a huge incentive for both sides, because neither side of the aisle wants to see those kind of guaranteed cuts.
"It was deliberately designed to be obnoxious to everyone. That's it's power. It's saving grace is that it's bad enough that Congress will act," says Lew.