The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction held its first public hearing on September 13. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Doug Elmendorf testified on “The History and Drivers of Our Nation’s Debt and Its Threats.” Committee members spent most of the time questioning the CBO director and debating the historical causes of the deficit, rather than discussing possible plans for reducing it in the future. The bipartisan Committee, established by the Budget Control Act, is charged with identifying $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction which can include spending cuts from all entitlement and discretionary programs as well as revenue increases. It is expected to finalize its plan by late October or early November in order to allow sufficient time for the Congressional Budget Office to develop cost estimates before the Nov 23 deadline for Congress to vote on its legislative proposal. Learn more about the Budget Control Act and how it may affect funding for discretionary disability-related programs. For video archive of the hearing click here.