'Super committee' steps up negotiations, Boehner pushes for deal
October 27th, 2011
04:17 PM ET
2 years ago

'Super committee' steps up negotiations, Boehner pushes for deal

Washington (CNN) - As Democrats and Republicans on the "super committee" exchanged competing plans to slash the deficit, House Speaker John Boehner said he's opposed to the automatic spending cuts that would go into effect if the panel can't reach a compromise and is committed to getting a deal done by the deadline.

"I think it's important for the 'super committee' to meet its goal," Boehner said Thursday, making it clear any form of the so-called "trigger" to cut government spending is not acceptable.

In closed door meetings this week Republicans and Democrats on the twelve member bipartisan panel stepped up negotiations, putting specific offers on the table. The panel is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings over the next ten years. But in both cases these latest proposals, which may simply reflect opening salvos after weeks of discussions, relied on components that have kept political parties on Capitol Hill at loggerheads for years. Democrats stressed tax increases and Republicans offered deeper spending cuts and changes to entitlement programs.

Democrats on Tuesday offered a $3 trillion package that included $1.3 trillion in tax increases in return for entitlement reforms that would save as much as $500 billion over ten years.

Republicans promptly rejected that proposal. Boehner dismissed the $1.3 trillion in revenue that Democrats' plan used to cover half of the package, saying, "I don't think it's a reasonable number."

But repeatedly pressed if the GOP could accept any new revenue as part of a deal, Boehner did not answer directly, but appeared careful not to rule anything out, saying only "I'm committed to getting to an outcome."

In Wednesday's closed door session GOP members of the panel gave their counter offer - a $2.2 trillion plan. Their proposal provided for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, including $785 billion in savings from changes to entitlement programs, a much deeper figure than Democrats proposed. The GOP offering, according to a Republican source, does not include any new tax increases, but counts on sales of federal assets, new money from selling off government controlled spectrum, and an increase in some federal user fees to come up with roughly $400 billion in revenue.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said the size of the GOP package "is not enough." She criticized Republicans adding significant spending cuts she said could hurt the sluggish economy, noting "everybody has said be careful how you cut and when you cut because you may destroy the momentum for economic growth that we need to have as we go forward."

But Boehner argued the majority of the budgets cuts should come from savings from reforms to Medicare and Medicaid programs that Democrats have been reluctant to change significantly.

"I think when you look at what's yet to be done by the super committee almost all of that's going to fall in the area I think of mandatory spending, which is more than two-thirds of the budget and it's time for us to do our work there," Boehner said.

One possible scenario is that the "super committee" would release its plan with an overall number for deficit reductions, but direct relevant Congressional committees to work out any details for the complicated task of tax reform.

Boehner backed this notion, saying Thursday, "I've never believed that the 'super committee' could rewrite the tax code. I think that's the appropriate role of the committee process in the House and Senate, and I would expect it would stay that way."

But both sides agree the clock is ticking and time is short for the joint select committee to come out with its recommendations.

A group of about 100 House members, almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans is circulating a letter they plan to release next week that urges the panel to aim for a large deficit reduction deal on the order of $4 trillion.

Boehner admitted the issues are tough, telling reporters Thursday, "I'm not surprised that we're having some difficulty because this isn't easy."

The deadline for a vote on a plan in the "super committee" is November 23rd, but Pelosi appeared impatient, saying, "let's just get right to it. I don't know why we have to go until the 23rd."

–CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit commission
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    If they vote NO to help the citizens of this country, we will vote NO to them keeping their cushy jobs with kick-backs.

    October 27, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Joe YOU LIE Wilson

    Remember this, Congress...

    You're at 9% approval rating. Single digits.

    The American voters are itching to vote the bums out.

    October 27, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. MTATL67

    "I think it's important for the 'super committee' to meet its goal" – Boehner. This committee was the Republican choice after rejecting every single proposal. The GOP are obstructionist to our recovery simply because they hate the President. Now there are no more games for the Republicans to play. I will be 99% surprised if the Republican abandon their obstructionist policy. When Pat Roberts issues a warning that you are to extreme, you know you are in trouble. The GOP is going lose the Hose and seats in the Senate. If this committee fails because of their "NO to Everything" policy (thank you McConnell) there may be no Republican in Congress at all ok Arizona and Alabama. I don't see how the people of Virginia will re-elect Cantor especially after he refused to support funding FEMA when his constituents need it. I don’t even think Perry will be re-elected governor of Texas Nor Michelle Bachmann. What a disaster their Presidential campaigns have been….sorry I digress. We are at this point now because Boehner, McConnell and Cantor the Axis of NO have brought us to this point. If they had the courage to stand up to the members of Congress that belong to that extremist group call the Tea party, he wouldn’t have to push so hard. GDP grew at a 2.5% annual rate in the quarter. Just think where our GDP would be now if the Republicans didn’t say “NO to everything” and actually worked with the President.

    October 27, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    When Obama took over in January 2009, the stock market was below 8000 (It dropped from 14000 under Bush) Today it was over 12,000. Remember when the rightwing nuts blamed Obama for destroying 401s? Maybe they will thank the president today.

    October 27, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. Chris

    Does anyone really believe that TWO politicians can agree to anything, much less a dozen of the sleazeballs? Any hard working American Taypayer knows that to balance their home budget they sometimes have to cut spending, take on extra work hours or another job, and give less to others. I could balance America's budget easily and I believe it should not be done by politicians as they simply use it to win votes during elections. I repeat, Congress and the President should not be the people to set a budget for this country.

    October 27, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. Chrisim

    We're all still waiting for Obama to show some leadership ability. He's done nothing to help this country's economy for 3 years and yet he still tries to play politics and blame the Repubs. The man is a loser that should not be elected, but most likely will due to the poverty level Africans voting for him. All they see is two colors -– Obama brown and Welfare green.

    October 27, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. PAST THE "AMERICAN JOBS ACT" NOW!!!!!!!

    Boehner and Cantor are unfit to run this country. The proof is a 9% approval. House Republicans are lazy with a cushy job while millions Americans are unemployed, they feel no pain for the American people.

    October 27, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. DumbasRocks [R]s

    @Democrat Party – leftist "progressive" socialist communist...: son, you must be a masochist, because your butt has been handed to you repeatedly on these CNN forums today, via facts a cogent analysis. You have not given even one substantive reponse to any of the commenters that have tried to correct the drivel that slides from your mouth like the overflow from some leaky cesspool. All you have provided us are tired old slogans, parroted from your empty rightwing heros that you apparently watch everyday while worshiping with slack-jaw at the alter of FuxNews.

    I thank our forefathers for our right to free speech. But and I thank god that you are stupid enough to use that right. You are the poster-child for why not to vote [R].

    That stupid, vapid people like you want the rightwing to control this country again is beyond all comprehension. I suggest you seek some genetic counceling.

    October 27, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. NVa Native

    Sounds very familiar – media says, "Boner pushes for a bill", but then Dems offer a compromise, but Repubs refuse and act insulted, then walk out of negotiations. Repubs immediately start chanting "NO" or "hell NO!"
    We need to remove all Repubs from positions that require an adult.

    October 27, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    The GOBP deathcult is ever more obvious in its disdain for average Americans and America itself. The GOBP deathcult is also ever more obvious in its blatant subservience to the 1%ers. Caring for the greedy and not the needy is no basis for a valid political party and it's only made worse when the GOBP keeps falling back on the same warmed over manure of deregulation and tax cuts for the ultrarich. Both are proven failures yet the "party of personal responsibility" refuse to admit their failings. OWS!

    October 27, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. DumbasRocks [R]s

    @Chris: I suggest you get together with "Democrat Party – leftist "progressive" socialist...", you both appear to be constitutional scholars of the first order, real "constructionists". A real brian trust, you two.

    Good grief. Vapid, rightwing drama queens want to run our country again. And a significant number of our fellow Americans are stupid enough to vote for them. Who say's there is no hell on Earth?

    October 27, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. RINO Bil

    If the Republican Tea Party is so pro-spending cuts, why isn't the Defense Department fair game? I would like to believe that the U.S. Military is willing to contribute to our Nation's well-being and economic stability as any other agency. The problem with the Republican Tea Party solution is that only some will suffer and contribute. I believe ALL Americans should sacrifice to get our economy back on track. Then make certain we never have a Republican controlled House and Senate at the same time we have a Republican President (and the same goes for the Democrats too).

    October 27, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Cut the budgets of ALL agencies by 11.5%. There is at LEAST that amount in waste fraud and abuse in all these depts."

    Do you even realize how brain damaged you sound? Sweeping across-the-board cuts of any percentage DO NOTHING to address the issues of waste or fraud. There would still be the waste AND the fraud. All you'd be doing is cutting the amount that manages to get to real people who are using it honestly and legitimately. The reality is, that's precisely what you want though, isn't it? Moreover, if it's fraud you're interested in, you might want to pay attention to the fact that Obama's done more than the past 4 presidents to address things like Medicare fraud. But hey, facts aren't what you're interested in...just like Obama setting records for number of deportations and the number of troops on the Mexican border is mischaracterized as Obama doing nothing, eh?

    October 27, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Ms.JHC

    This is ridiculous about how the GOP refuses to increase taxes for the super wealthy and close the tax loopholes they keep using to escape paying taxes like the rest of America. GOP I will never in my life vote Reublican I do not care who is running if I do not like any Democrates I will just notvote. I hate stupidity and that is exactly what the GOP is, oops I forgot they are on the payrolls of the super wealthy and big corporations so why would they give a you know what!

    October 27, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Tom from Canonsburg

    This will be more of the Dems trying to compromise and then the GOP will retract and move the carrot further to the right. They do it everytime. Then the Dems will look like they are the stubborn group. The American public is too mis-informed to understand the process.

    October 27, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. Bob

    I love how the GOP think that compromise means "we get everything we want or we'll screw you over even if it destroys the country!" That's not compromise, that's blackmail (or political terrorism).

    October 27, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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