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The U.S. Congress returns next week from its July 4th holiday break, and representatives then have only three weeks before they leave Washington again for the traditional August recess. Nice work if you can get it.

This abbreviated schedule leaves just over 30 legislative days for the Democrats in the House, the Senate Republicans, and the White House to come to an agreement on the budget for the new fiscal year prior to the October 1 deadline. While there has been one meeting between the senior White House staff and Congressional leaders, it didn’t’ include President Donald Trump.

Complicating any potential budget agreement is the mandated sequester cuts of over $120 billion required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), a compromise agreement reached under divided government during President Barack Obama’s Administration. The deal included mandatory reduction in spending unless Congress takes specific action. Since 2011 Congress and the White House have indeed passed two-year spending agreements, avoiding the sequester cuts, every year but 2013.

The current suspension of BCA sequestration cuts covered fiscal years 2018 and 2019; therefore, a new suspension is required to avoid the cuts, which typically are divided between defense and non-defense spending. The...

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