Remember the "super committee"? That's the bipartisan panel of lawmakers that Congress created over the summer, charged with figuring out how to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit.
But odds of the panel reaching accord on its ambitious mission have looked steep, to put it mildly. The group has a Nov. 23 deadline to deliver recommendations to Congress, and has largely been bogged down in partisan bickering. But Jack Lew, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, tells Yahoo Finance he's bullish on the prospect of an agreement.
"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," Lew said in an interview with Aaron Task and Daniel Gross. "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."
You can watch the interview below:
Republicans on the committee have been reluctant to agree to any significant tax hikes--even on those making over $1 million a year--which has made progress difficult. If the panel doesn't forge an agreement before its appointed deadline, the cuts will occur automatically, but half will come from the defense budget, which several lawmakers on both sides can't stomach.
"It was deliberately designed to be obnoxious to everyone. That's its power," Lews said. "Its saving grace is that it's bad enough that Congress will act."
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