Republican and Democratic congressional leaders are weighing whether to delay automatic federal spending cuts until March 2013, according to a House aide and industry officials who were briefed on the discussions.
The $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over a decade, half of which would affect the Defense Department, are scheduled to begin in January 2013. At the same time, lawmakers must decide what to do about income tax cuts and other tax breaks scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
The Republican-led House passed a bill in May to avert defense spending cuts and plans to vote in July on a measure to extend the expiring tax cuts. Neither measure will advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate. President Barack Obama opposes both proposals.