Super Committee Stuck: Dems Spurn Latest GOP Deficit Deal
News outlets covered the latest tension in super committee negotiations. While the latest GOP offer excluded cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, it doesn't achieve the savings Congress mandated when it created the committee.
CNN: Deficit Committee Still Talking
Sen. Jon Kyl, a member of the congressional committee created to craft a bipartisan deficit reduction deal, said Saturday the group will work until Monday's deadline, but it's "pretty doubtful" the bipartisan panel will forge a last-minute compromise. ... Kyl noted that the last proposal the GOP floated to Democrats as a "last ditch effort" was a package of $640 billion in mandatory spending cuts ... This would only address about half of the super committee's mandate to cut at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years (Walsh, 11/19).
Reuters: US Deficit 'Super Committee Stalled As Deadline Looms
Both sides of the U.S. Congress' deadlocked "super committee" held separate talks on Saturday, but formal negotiations remained stalled ... The Republican members held a Saturday morning conference call among themselves, but details about what was said on it were not immediately available ... The annual budget deficit, pegged to be $1.3 trillion this year, has fallen slightly under Obama. But the tax code is still riddled with revenue-reducing loopholes and sharply higher Medicare spending looms ahead as the baby boom ages, painting a dire long-term U.S. fiscal picture (Smith and Temple-West, 11/19).
The New York Times: Deficit Panel Faces a Rift Over Who Ought to Pay
A major plan advanced by Republicans comes from Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania: $890 billion in spending cuts and $250 billion in revenue increases, according to aides. The spending cuts are deep and far reaching. The proposal, for instance, raises the Medicare eligibility age to 67 from 65 and uses a less-generous cost-of-living estimate to trim $160 billion from Social Security (Lowrey, 11/19).
The Washington Post: ‘Supercommittee’ At Impasse As Deadline Approaches
After [the Nov. 23 deadline], the panel loses special legislative advantages that could help its recommendations win congressional approval. ... Republicans proposed to achieve about $640 billion in savings over the next decade, primarily through cuts to domestic agency budgets, a pay freeze and bigger pension contributions for federal workers ... and an array of other spending cuts and revenue raisers (Kane and Helderman, 11/18).
The Wall Street Journal: Smaller Deficit Deal Floated
Congress's last-gasp deficit-cut talks broke into two tracks Friday, with members of a special committee continuing to seek an elusive $1.2 trillion deal while party leaders discussed a smaller, backup plan in case they fail. Talk of a Plan B reflected the bleak outlook facing the committee as it heads into its final days (Bendavid and Hook, 11/18).
CBS News: Supercommittee Dems Rebuff GOP Contingency Plan
"This package represented a good-faith offer that excluded all of the reforms and entitlement programs that Democrats have expressed concern over," said the GOP leadership aide. "The proposal did not touch Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security." ... One senior Democratic aide said the GOP proposal is "laughable and disappointing" (Jackson, 11/18).
Bloomberg: Supercommittee in U.S. Moving Further Apart on Talks
Democrats who represent districts with many elderly or low- income residents said sequestration is preferable to some options being considered by the supercommittee, such as limiting benefits in programs like Medicare. ... Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the supercommittee’s Republican co-chairman, has said Republicans won’t go beyond their offer to raise tax revenue by $300 billion until Democrats offer a plan to address the growth in spending on entitlement programs (Przybyla and Laura Litvan, 11/19).
Politico: Supercommittee Fallout May Infect 2012 Election
To be sure, there are escape hatches. Republicans are considering packaging unemployment benefits and the so-called “doc fix” with a bill filled with spending cuts — a duel-headed strategy to lessen the impact of the sequester by crafting a bill Obama could not turn down (Raju, Sherman and Kim, 11/18).
CNN Money: The Super Committee Escape Hatch
The "automatic" budget cuts that were supposed to deter super-committee members from punting won't actually kick in until 2013. And that gives Congress more than 13 months to modify the law. There will be tremendous pressure to do so. The cuts would slash $1.2 trillion in defense and nondefense spending. Exempt from the cuts: Social Security and programs for low-income people, such as Medicaid. Medicare cuts, meanwhile, would be limited (Riley, 11/18).