Deficit Panel Hears Advice, Ideas From All Sides
Much of the input the super committee receives is familiar and expected. For instance, Democratic lawmakers are urging the panelists to protect the 2010 health law, Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans are pushing for the health law's repeal and cuts to federal health programs.
The New York Times: Deficit Panel May Need Push, Lawmakers Say
The two leaders of the panel, Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, and Representative Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas, have told committee members not to talk publicly about their work. But other lawmakers and Congressional aides privy to the panel's effort have provided a remarkably consistent picture of the deliberations as the committee tries, in a matter of weeks, to find fiscal answers that have eluded Congress and the White House for years (Pear, 10/18).
Politico: Advice Floods Super Committee
The recommendations come from influential committee chairmen, Washington think tanks and members of the public submitting their ideas online. And they run the gamut: Don't raise taxes. License online poker. Implement some type of "Buffett rule" to tax the rich more. The mountain of recommendations makes it clear that everybody wants a piece of the powerful super committee — and that everybody wants a chance to be heard (Kim, 10/18).
Politico Pro: Committee Leaders' Recs Have Familiar Ring
Leaders on powerful congressional committees weighed in with their recommendations on how to tame the national deficit. So what did we learn? We discovered that Democrats want the super committee to protect the new health care law and leave Medicare and Medicaid largely untouched. We also learned that Republicans want to repeal the reform law and make targeted cuts to federal health programs. Oh, and they want to turn Medicaid into a block grant program. To be truthful, reading their letters to the super committee is a bit like the legislative equivalent of summer reruns (DoBias, 10/19).
Reuters: U.S. Budget Panel To Look At 'Gang of Six' Savings
A sweeping, bipartisan plan developed earlier this year to cut $3.7 trillion from U.S. deficits will be discussed on Wednesday by the special congressional deficit-reduction panel, aides said on Tuesday. The wide-ranging deficit-reduction plan was crafted in the U.S. Senate by the so-called "Gang of Six" several months ago. ... Among the major elements of the Gang of Six program are: Spending caps on discretionary government programs through 2015, changing the measure of inflation to slow the growth of Social Security benefits and cutting Medicare costs while maintaining "the essential health care services that the poor and elderly rely upon," according to a summary (Cowan, 10/18).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: 2 Percent Medicare Cut Nothing To Sneeze At
Medicare might fare better than other health care programs if the congressional super committee fails to agree on a deficit-reduction package and automatic cuts kick in, but even 2 percent is a big problem when it comes on top of other recent hits, warn Rick Pollack, executive vice president of the American Hospital Association, and Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans (Werber Serafini, 10/19).
The Hill: Tea Party Survey Shows Modest Support For Medicare Cuts
The Tea Party might not be so eager to cut entitlements, after all. The conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks released early results Tuesday from the "Tea Party Debt Commission" — a website that asks visitors to choose among various proposals for cutting the federal deficit. Voters were hesitant to cut Medicare, even in ways that congressional Republicans strongly support. Only three health care cuts cracked the 10 most popular proposals among self-identified Tea Party supporters. Unsurprisingly, repealing the health care reform law was the top vote-getter, even though the Congressional Budget Office says repealing the law would add billions of dollars to the deficit (Baker, 10/18).
iWatch News: Super Congress Hauls In Super Donations As Special Interests Try To Influence Budget Cuts
Members of the congressional super committee have received more than $300,000 from 93 special interests in just six weeks since they were appointed, according to an analysis of FEC data by iWatch News. More than a third of the money came from health-related interests as the committee of 12 debates serious cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. The donations from political action committees slightly favored the Republicans on the panel (Johnson, 10/18).