Austerity rules in Congress budget talks

Monday - 1/3/2011, 4:08pm EST

The incoming Congress is targeting spending and the deficit, with an emphasis on austerity.

Republicans, who are taking over the majority in the House, are not expected to deliver a "blitz" of new legislation in the first few days, the Washington Post reports.

Instead, House GOP are expected to introduce two measures this week that the Wall Street Journal reports may have more symbolic meaning than anything else -- to repeal the health care bill and to cut $25 million out of running the House.

Federal austerity could especially impact the Washington, D.C., region, where federal government is the major industry. The Post reports that in 1995 the federal workforce shrunk for 32,000, and the "region felt the pain."

Amidst the budget back and forth is another debate -- Who will President Obama name to be his new chief economic adviser to replace Lawrence Summers? The president is expected to name a new adviser as soon as this week, the Post reports.

Among the top contenders are Gene Sperling, a veteran of the Clinton administration, Roger Altman, an investment banker, and Richard Levin, economist and president of Yale University.

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