The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction formed in the August 2nd Budget Control Act is tasked with broad spending limit recommendations. While the Budget Control Act of 2011 resolves the debt ceiling issue through the end of 2012, it leaves many budget issues unresolved. Several important milestones are scheduled to occur over the coming months that will play a critical role in determining the future of the defense budget.
- 15 August Congressional leaders must appoint members to the Joint Committee tasked with formulating a deficit reduction proposal totaling at least $1.2 trillion.
- September / October: DoD will complete its comprehensive strategic review outlining how it plans to implement the President’s April proposal to reduce spending by $400 billion over twelve years, which is roughly equivalent to the initial reductions under this bill.
- 1 October to avoid a government shutdown, Congress must enact either FY 2012 appropriations or a continuing resolution.
- 23 November The Joint Committee must approve by a simple majority its deficit reduction plan.
- 23 December Congress must hold an up or down vote on the Joint Committee bill with a simple majority required for approval. If a bill with deficit reduction of at least $1.2 trillion is not approved by both chambers and signed into law by the President by January 15, the trigger provision automatically takes effect.
- 6 February the Administration will release the FY 2013 budget request.