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Debt Plan Spending-Cut ‘Trigger’ Has Failed in Past

As they struggle to reach an agreement over how to extend the nation’s debt limit and trim budget deficits, Republicans and Democrats are turning to an enforcement tool, called a “trigger,” with a history of failure.

Republicans are insisting that the trigger would cause across-the-board, automatic spending cuts if Congress comes up short of implementing its own budget reductions. Democrats want the mechanism to force deficit reduction through both cutting expenditures and adding revenue.