A special deficit-reduction committee of the U.S. Congress is deeply engaged in negotiations on a long-term budget plan as it faces a Nov. 23 deadline for reaching a deal, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said Thursday.
Elmendorf, speaking in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, also said that the non-partisan CBO is "very, very intensively" providing the "super committee" with the budgetary effects of different proposals they are considering.
But Elmendorf added that he did not know where the super committee's discussions will lead.
The CBO analyzes the budgetary impact of legislation on U.S. deficits, which have surpassed $1 trillion over the past three years.
If a majority of the 12-member super committee agrees to a 10-year deficit-reduction plan of at least $1.2 trillion by Nov. 23, it would be up to the full Congress to pass the plan by Dec. 23. Otherwise, automatic spending cuts of that magnitude would start to go into effect in 2013.
A senior congressional aide told Reuters that leaders in Congress will soon be asking the super committee for details on what it has accomplished so far.
The super committee — an outgrowth of an August budget deal that also raised U.S. borrowing authority — has been meeting in secret for about a month on whether to focus on spending cuts, tax increases or both in their drive to get budget deficits down.
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