Washington Daybook: Defense CEOs to Discuss Fiscal Cliff

Photograph by Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

The Northrop Grumman Corp. booth during the 28th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on April 17, 2012.

Chief executives of some of the largest defense companies including Northrop Grumman Corp. and Analytic Sciences Corp. hold a news conference today in Washington to discuss their concerns about the impact of sequestration as acrimony builds in Washington over the fiscal cliff.

With three weeks until Christmas and four until automatic spending cuts and tax increases begin to take effect, President Barack Obama is betting that his re-election gave him political clout to force Republicans to accept higher taxes on upper-income Americans as a step toward reducing the deficit, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman and Roger Runningen report.

The GOP, meanwhile, is renewing its bid to use a debt-limit increase to force deeper spending cuts, replicating a 2011 showdown that caused U.S. to come within days of default and led to a credit-rating downgrade, Bloomberg’s Richard Rubin reports.

Negotiations will continue backstage today as lawmakers act on other issues. The Senate plans to return to the fiscal 2013 defense policy bill, with a cloture vote scheduled for later today. A vote is planned for tomorrow on the treaty on the rights of the disabled.

The House, which has votes scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday only, is to consider the Coast Guard reauthorization plus measures that would repeal limits on Secret Service protection for former presidents and strike the word “lunatic” from federal law.

Oh, and if members of the House and Senate look a little more dressed-up than usual, it’s because tonight’s the annual holiday party at the White House.

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