Washington (CNN) - Conservative House Democrats Wednesday pressed members of the Super Committee –charged with coming up with $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction– to "go big" and more than double their debt target, but they also openly worried the composition of the panel means it's destined to fail.
"Our concern and the reason for our letter is because of the political makeup of the folks on the committee, we're concerned that they're going to take their orders from their national party leaders and not really sit down and call a time out on the 2012 elections like we're asking them to do," Blue Dog leader Rep. Mike Ross, D-Arkansas, said.
The Blue Dog letter sent to the 12 members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction calls for $4 trillion in deficit reduction, instead of the $1.5 trillion required by the debt deal, and states, "As Blue Dogs, we represent diverse districts that span the country, yet we heard one consistent message: quit the partisan bickering and get something accomplished."
There is growing pressure on the bipartisan panel to go far beyond the $1.5 trillion in cuts. Some members on the panel, including Democrats Rep. Chris Van Hollen. Maryland, and Rep. Xavier Becerra, California, have pushed for the committee to go beyond that target, citing the bipartisan work of previous fiscal commissions.
On Tuesday House Speaker John Boehner, who failed twice to negotiate a larger deficit deal with the president this year, said he believed a bigger deal would be easier to pass.
"The debt that hangs over our economy and the debt that hangs over our society is a serious impediment for our country and so the bigger the job of the debt committee, the more they're able to do, frankly, I think is very helpful for our country," Boehner said.
But Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Camp, one of the GOP appointees to the panel, cautioned that the committee needs to work on reaching the goal assigned to them before discussing anything bigger.
"We need to look very hard at how we get to that $1.5 trillion. We haven't really had very many meetings so far and that's going to be a very challenging thing to do," Camp told reporters off the House floor Wednesday. "If in fact we get there, than I think you can maybe look at what we can above and beyond that you can do, but at this point I don't see us surpassing that requirement yet."
Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper appealed to the twelve committee members of both parties to set aside election year politics and focus on a big deal, but seemed unconvinced one would emerge.
"I think we all need to pray for a miracle. That one or more of them is willing to consider the argument on the other side and do the right thing," Cooper said.
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