This was set up months ago. The politicians set it up beautifully, just like they wanted to.
If nothing happens - if they do NOT do anything, then certain things automatically happen.
Soooo, each side can do nothing and still point at the other side saying it is all THEIR fault.
They do not HAVE to agree to anything or come to any compromise in order to get budget cuts PLUS higher taxes. Don't you get it? This is what they were after, but they never wanted to take responsibility or accept any blame. It worked!