Key dates are approaching for the Super Committee:
- November 23 – 7 of the 11 members must craft and agree to a specific plan to eliminate a $1.5 trillion deficit over the next 10 years.
- December 31 – Congress must approve the Super Committee's plan in an “up or down” vote.
- January 1, 2012 – If Congress fails to adopt a plan to cut the debt and deficit, there will be a $1.2 trillion package of automatic spending cuts (sequestration*), roughly equally divided between defense and non-defense spending (which neither party desires).
*What is sequestration? It is an automatic across-the-board proportional spending cut written into law and implemented by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It should be noted that while this sequestration will occur in 2012, the cuts do not go into effect until January 1, 2013.