Rep. Hensarling Say Super Committee May Use 2-Step Process To Increase Revenues
Several members of the congressional super committee appeared on the Sunday morning news shows to talk about their progress.
CNN: 'Super Committee' Co-Chair Has Hope
The Republican co-chair of the so-called "super committee" trying to forge a major deficit reduction deal said Sunday that a two-step process is possible in which the bipartisan panel sets a figure for increased revenue from tax reform that congressional committees then set in legislation. Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling told CNN’s "State of the Union" that he remains hopeful for a comprehensive deal, but he made clear that an alternative could leave it to Congress to figure out how to implement results agreed upon by the 12-member panel made up of equal numbers of House and Senate Democrats and Republicans (Cohen and Schwarz, 11/13).
Bloomberg: Hensarling: Debt-Cuts May Be 'Two-Step Process'
Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the co-chairman of the bipartisan supercommittee, said panel members might reach an accord on overall numbers for tax revenue increases, leaving it to other congressional panels to work out the details. "There could be a two-step process that would hopefully give us pro-growth tax reform," Republican Hensarling said on CNN’s "State of the Union" program (Stohr, 11/13).
The Associated Press: GOP Co-Chair: Debt Talks A 'Roller Coaster Ride'
Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling said the panel will fail unless Democrats agree to significant "structural" changes to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. When asked whether that could be done in a matter of days, he said "we haven't given up hope." "But if this were easy, the president of the United States (Barack Obama) and the speaker of the House (John Boehner) would have gotten it done themselves," Hensarling said (Flaherty, 11/13).
The Hill: Rep. Hensarling Still Focused On Large Deficit-Reduction Deal, But Not Optimistic
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), a member of the deficit-reduction supercommittee, said on CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning that his focus is still on a large structural deal that would reform Medicare and Medicaid and cut $4 trillion in spending rather than the $1.2 trillion the panel has been tasked to cut. "If we don’t do structural change we will fail in our duty," Hensarling said (Joseph, 11/13).
Politico: Hensarling: Reform Trumps Deficit 'Goal'
The way Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) sees it, the supercommittee's "duty" to structurally reform government spending on Medicare and other entitlement programs is more important than its "goal" of cutting $1.2 trillion from the deficit. The supercommittee "has both a goal and a duty, and the duty in many respects is more important than the goal," Hensarling, the deficit-reduction panel’s co-chair, said (Wong, 11/13).
The Washington Post: Supercommittee Hasn’t 'Given Up Hope,' Hensarling Says
Hensarling responded Sunday by arguing that the GOP "put a half-a-trillion dollars of revenues on the table. Some of that is fees, but $250 (billion) of it is what most people call static tax revenue." He then took aim at Democrats' proposal, arguing that "frankly, there are no real spending cuts on the table." "Let's make sure we are using the language like the American people do," Hensarling said. "All we are talking about here is slowing the rate of growth. All of these programs, by and large, are going to continue to grow, but at a pace that would become more sustainable" (Sonmez, 11/13).
The Hill: Sen. Toomey Says Supercommittee Talks 'At A Difficult Point'
Two members of the supercommittee working to find consensus on a major deficit-reduction deal said Sunday that there's reason to be hopeful, but little margin for error. "We still have time, but we have no time to waste," Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said on Fox News. " ... Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), one of the Democrats on the panel, said he remained hopeful the committee would reach a resolution in time, but that his confidence was diminishing. "I am not as certain as I was 10 days ago," Clyburn said. Clyburn said the elements for a good resolution were there, and that he agreed with two-thirds of what Toomey had put on the table, but that the will to move forward was still lacking (Lederman, 11/13).
Politico: Warner: Panel Needs To 'Make Some Folks Mad'
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said Sunday the deficit-cutting supercommittee needs to "make some folks mad" on both ends of the political spectrum if they want to get a deal. "There’s going to need to be revenues. There's going to need to be entitlement reform, so there really is a Medicare, Medicaid a Social Security program 20, 30 40 years from now," said Warner, a member of the so-called Gang of Six senators that unsuccessfully tried earlier this year to move forward on a deficit-reduction plan of their own (Wong, 11/13).
Earlier coverage this weekend included:
Los Angeles Times: Deficit 'Super Committee' May Put Off Decisions
In an effort to avoid stark failure, a fallback plan is emerging that would push tough decisions on taxes to next year, perhaps into a lame-duck session after the election, according to officials familiar with the panel's discussions. Under this scenario, the two sides would agree now to a level of revenue from new taxes. They would direct the congressional tax-writing committees to revamp the tax code with fixed dates and goals. The object would be to generate new revenue while lowering corporate rates and keeping the top individual bracket no higher than the current 35% (Mascaro, 11/11).
The Wall Street Journal: Hints of Hope as Deficit Deadline Approaches
Members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction are still talking—and doing so with intensifying urgency with an eye toward a Nov. 23 deadline. Differences between the two sides have shrunk somewhat as negotiators have ceded ground on the hot-button issues of taxes and entitlements. Movement has come in inches, not miles, though (Hook and Bendavid, 11/12).
The Hill: Obama Warns He'll Block Any Attempt To Avoid Debt Deal Spending Triggers
President Obama has warned leaders of the supercommittee he will not accept any effort to turn off a mechanism enforcing spending cuts if the panel fails to reach a deal to reduce the deficit. In a Friday phone call to the co-chairmen of the 12-member panel, Obama told Congress it "must not shirk its responsibilities," according to a White House readout of the conversation (Wasson, 11/11).
The Washington Post: Obama Urges Supercommittee Leaders To Reach Deal; Warns Against Undoing Consequences Of Failing To Reach Accord
In a statement, the White House indicated that Obama was seeking an update on the process as a Nov. 23 deadline for cutting at least $1.2 trillion from the nation's deficit over the next 10 years looms. He urged them to strike a deal that would cut both entitlements and raise revenues (Helderman, 11/11).
Politico: Obama Spurns Congress For Overseas
President Barack Obama left on a nine-day trip Friday just as the deficit-cutting supercommittee stumbles into its critical final phase and lawmakers race to avert a government shutdown. And neither Congress nor the White House really seems to care about his absence (Budoff Brown, 11/12).
Los Angeles Times: Obama Heads To Asia, Putting Budget Fray At Arm's Length
Most of Congress' work right now involves the so-called super committee, which has a Nov. 23 deadline for reaching agreement on a long-term plan to reduce the deficit. White House expectations are low that the super committee will succeed. The likelihood of a deadlock only cements the West Wing plan to ignore attempts to lure Obama into a back-and-forth (Parsons and Nicholas, 11/11).
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