100 Lawmakers Urge Deficit Panel To Consider ‘All Options’
A letter from this bipartisan group of House members to the super committee asked that the panel strive for a larger, $4 trillion deal. Meanwhile, Politico offers four possible scenarios that could play out.
The New York Times: Deficit Committee Could Seek More Time, A Top Democrat Says
A top House Democrat said Wednesday that a bipartisan committee seeking ways to slash the budget deficit could seek an extension if it was unable to meet its deadline, just three weeks away. With no visible signs of progress, six of the 12 committee members have begun meeting privately in hopes of overcoming what appears to be the biggest obstacle to agreement: a deadlock over whether tax increases should be part of a deficit-reduction deal (Pear, 11/2).
Los Angeles Times: Bipartisan Group Says Deficit Panel Should Consider 'All Options'
They're not explicitly agreeing to raise taxes to reduce deficits, but a bipartisan group of 100 House lawmakers — including 40 Republicans — urged the congressional super committee to put everything in the mix and strive for a larger, $4-trillion deficit reduction deal. A letter released Wednesday by the group was seen as a possible opening in the partisan stalemate as the committee on deficit reduction appears to be deadlocked. So far, Republicans have refused to raise taxes to bring down deficits and Democrats are willing to put Medicare and other entitlement cuts on the table, but only if the GOP agrees to new revenue (Mascaro, 11/2).
The Washington Post: House Republicans Make Cross-Party Pitch to Embolden Debt 'Super Committee'
The letter comes as pessimism that the super committee can find agreement by a Nov. 23 deadline is running high on Capitol Hill. Aides to both sides have said the six House members and six Senators who serve on the panel are stuck on the same issue that has divided previous efforts to cut the deficit — Democrats want Republicans to accept sizable new revenue generation before agreeing to significant entitlement cuts and Republicans do not want to back a tax increase (Helderman and Montgomery, 11/2).
The Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers Prod Panel On Deficit Agreement
The 100 lawmakers who signed the letter said they wanted to signal to the committee that Republicans would support tax increases and Democrats would accept cuts in social-safety-net programs (Bendavid and Boles, 11/3).
The Associated Press: 100 Bipartisan Lawmakers Tell Debt Super Committee To Consider All Options, Save $4 Trillion
The GOP lawmakers joined with 60 House Democrats in the letter, which also called on the super committee to keep the door open for savings culled from benefit programs like Medicare, a path opposed by many Democrats. In addition, the letter said the special committee should aim for $4 trillion in 10-year savings — more than triple the panel's mandated minimum target of $1.2 trillion (Fram, 11/2).
Politico Pro: Four Senarios For A Health Care Deal
Note to the super committee: Time is not the only thing that's slipping away — so is public confidence. The 12-member panel has just three weeks to put its deficit reduction package together, and the lack of progress has the health care sector on edge. So while hospital and physician groups know that cuts are coming, they have no idea what the damage will be — but they do know that some scenarios look a lot better than others. Such concerns are rampant throughout Washington (Dobias, 11/3).
All the while, some lawmakers note that President Barack Obama is steering clear of the panel's work and one House Democratic leader offers a dour outlook on the panel's chance for success.
Politico: President Obama Stays Away From Deficit Panel
The strategy isn't without peril. Popular entitlement programs face cuts, and there has been serious discussion about making changes to Social Security if Republicans accept increased revenue — developments that are already eliciting furor from the Democratic base. As the committee nears its Nov. 23 deadline, Obama will be thousands of miles away, traveling through Hawaii, Indonesia and Australia and opening himself to criticism that he’s skipping town while legislators are furiously trying to assemble something he will need to sign (Sherman and Budoff Brown, 11/2).
Reuters: Key House Democrat Dour On Deficit Panel Success
With Republicans and Democrats in a familiar deadlock over taxes, prospects are poor for crafting a deficit reduction deal before a November 23 deadline, a top Democratic lawmaker said on Wednesday. ... "Expectations for the success of the super committee are low," Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, told reporters (Cowan and Smith, 11/2).