Super Committee Members Trade Barbs As Deadline Approaches
Politico: Supercommittee Blame Everywhere
A full-scale blame game erupted into public view Sunday after nearly three months of secretive negotiations on the supercommittee that failed to resolve an impasse to cut at least $1.2 trillion in deficits over the next decade. Fanning out across the Sunday talk shows just hours before the supercommittee’s deadline, Republicans insisted that Democrats wanted to institute a $1 trillion tax hike, while Democrats argued that the GOP wanted to gut popular entitlements and protect the rich (Sherman, Raju and Bresnahan, 11/20).
The Associated Press: Debt Deal Prospects Sour Amid Partisan Wrangling
"If you look at the Democrats' position it was 'We have to raise taxes. We have to pass this jobs bill, which is another almost half-trillion dollars. And we're not excited about entitlement reform,' " Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona said in a combative interview on NBC's "Meet the Press." ... "There is one sticking divide. And that's the issue of what I call shared sacrifice," said panel co-chair Sen. Patty Murray. "The wealthiest Americans who earn over a million a year have to share too. And that line in the sand, we haven't seen Republicans willing to cross yet," the Washington Democrat said on CNN's "State of the Union" (Taylor, 11/20).
Bloomberg: Expectations Dim For A U.S. Supercommittee Deal
The supercommittee faces a "daunting challenge" as its 12 members seek to bridge gulfs over taxes and spending, Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the Republican co- chairman, said today. Time is running out for a plan to carve at least $1.2 trillion out of the federal budget, he said. The panel has been deadlocked over income-tax increases, with Democrats seeking tax increases on high earners while Republicans push for extending President George W. Bush’s tax cuts. Another sticking point is Republican calls for cuts, over Democrats' opposition, in entitlement programs such as Medicare (Litvan and Hunter, 11/20).
The Hill: Sen. Murray: GOP Too 'Enthralled' By Norquist To Reach A Deficit Deal
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Democratic co-chairman of the debt supercommittee, said Sunday that she was willing to "work all night long" to reach a deficit-reduction agreement but believes that GOP lawmakers are too "enthralled" with their pledge to anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist make a compromise work (Sink, 11/20).
The Washington Post: Debt Supercommittee A 'Huge Blown Opportunity,' Hensarling Says
With the bipartisan debt supercommittee set to throw in the towel as early as Monday, the panel’s co-chairman Sunday called the group's anticipated failure a "huge blown opportunity." ... Hensarling was one of seven members of the joint committee who made the Sunday show rounds ahead of the panel’s deadline of midnight Monday. If, as expected, the 12-member group fails to reach an agreement by then on a plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade, then a $1.2 trillion across-the-board cut to defense and non-defense programs will go into effect beginning in January 2013 – an outcome that some lawmakers have increasingly said they will work to undo (Sonmez and Fahrenthold, 11/20).
Reuters: Debt Reduction Panel Remains Far Apart
The deadlock focuses on Republican opposition to tax increases, particularly on the wealthiest Americans, and Democratic refusal to cut into federal retirement and healthcare benefits without such tax increases. "I say to my Republican colleagues: we are here all day. We are ready to do $1.2 trillion, not less than it. That's what we were told to do. That's the law," said (Sen. John) Kerry, after accusing Kyl of not telling the truth about the talks (Cowan and Ferraro, 11/20).
The National Journal: Super Committee's Prospects For Success Dimming
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., suggested in stark words on Sunday that the super committee seems destined to miss its Nov. 23 deadline. He also made the case, albeit meekly, for one of the so-called small deals that would cut around $600 billion and delay budget-cutting decisions until next year (11/20).
CNN: Aides: 'Super Committee' Likely To Announce Failure To Reach Debt Deal
Members of the "super committee" charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in budget cuts are focused on how to announce failure to reach a deal, Democratic and Republican aides confirmed to CNN Sunday. While aides said no final decision had been made, they acknowledged that -- barring an unforeseen development -- an announcement of an end to negotiations is the most likely scenario (Desjardins and Bolduan, 11/20).
For earlier weekend coverage of the super committee, see Kaiser Health News: Super Committee Stuck: Dems Spurn Latest GOP Deficit DealThis is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.