Conservative Democrats urge Super Committee to go big, but worried it's set up to fail
September 14th, 2011
04:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Conservative Democrats urge Super Committee to go big, but worried it's set up to fail

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.

Follow Deirdre Walsh on Twitter: @deirdrewalshcnn

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit commission
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. TEA PARTY Mike

    They will have a far better chance of working out a deal if Obama stays out of it and does not attempt to tie his jobs plan to it. The task this committee has is difficult enough without making it more complicated.

    September 14, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. MedaBlkman

    "worried it's set up to fail".................................................because repuks/KKKers/teabaggers clearly do not want anything to be successful this year............they might look like they actually work for the American people instead of corporate America only. Lawdie help us!

    September 14, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Kyl threatened to walk out if tax increases were on the table.

    I say, let him walk – and then vote 6 to 5 to pass all of President Obama's recommendations.

    To hell with the Republicans! They are out to destroy our country, plain and simple.

    September 14, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    The top 1% of Americans earned 25% of all the wealth in our country last year.

    It's about time they started paying their fair share. If they don't like it, they can go live in China and India and all those other countries to which they been shipping American jobs.

    September 14, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Of course it's set to fail. As soon as I saw that mathematical genius' name on in, kyl (98% is the same as 3% because I say so and I want Planned Parenthood to go away) I knew teapublikans were not serious about it.
    It's very simple. Tax the rich and the corporations until they bring jobs back to the US. They like to live here instead of in one of those third world countries were they send their products to make themselves richer with low pay jobs then make them pay to stay here in the good old USA and not live in shacks abroad.

    September 14, 2011 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Wes B.

    A smart idea I heard a while back was that each party should have been responsible for picking the members of the opposing party to be on the panel. So the Dems would pick what Repubs were on the panel, and vise versa.

    Personally, I don't think Boehner should be allowed to be quoted on what he thinks on this issue. He had his chance, and he totally blew it.

    September 14, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "We wanna go big! Really, really big! But not too big. Just big enough to be bigger than before, but not so big that they'd shoot it down. Not overwhelmingly big, know....big. Did we already say not too big?"
    Shut up.
    Dems are sounding like scared rabbits already.
    President has to do everything, and be everywhere because his back-up group is too busy coming up with preemptive excuses to get the work done

    September 14, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Less Taxes To Pay

    Cut all you want but it will not create jobs. My husband just lost his job today after 37 years. His company has cut so much that he has been doing 3-5 jobs for several years. The company is now making a profit but will not hire anyone. They just keep cutting jobs for more profit. I'm beginning to wonder if we will just have the poor and the rich in the future. My family will be alright because we knew it could and would happen someday and planned by living below our means. But what about those that are younger that live paycheck to paycheck. I guess on the plus side we won't have to worry about paying a large federal tax bill which we have done since the 70's because bought of us were working. The more people out of work the less taxes collected. The situation our country is in will take years to recover because this situation did not happen overnight.

    September 14, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    This dog and pony show will go nowhere, too much idealism involved on both sides.

    September 14, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. TEA PARTY Mike


    Would Obama or someone from the left our you perhaps define what the left's definition of the fair share for the rich is. Please provide the exact tax rates and the metrics you used to determine it is indeed fair.
    100% of Americans believe the rich should pay their fair share. Thing is everyone has a different idea of what that is. I have no idea of what your definition of fair is except it is more than they are paying now. I have no idea how much it is or what criteria you used to determine it.
    I think the rich are paying more than their fair share already. We still have a progressive tax rate schedule. Bush lowered the rates for every tier, upper, middle and low. So the rich still pay a higher tax rate on their income than the middle class or low income. The rich also pay something like over 70 of all the income tax collected. All that sounds more than fair to me. If you say the rich can afford to pay more and still have a lot of money, I will agree with you. But I don't believe anyone, not even the rich, should be taxed to pay for excessive, wasteful or ineffective government. Once that is all cut out, then I will be willing to see if we need to ask the rich to pay an even larger share than they already are. And tax reform can be done now to get rid of all tax deductions and loop holes and lower rates for both individuals and business. If done correctly this can increase revenue. It would be tax neutral to those not taking excessive advantage of loop holes and it would increase taxes on those who are. Sounds fair to me. For example GE paid no taxes on 14 billion in profits. Get rid of the loop holes and lower the rates from 35% to 20% and GE pays 2.8 billion instead of zero.

    September 14, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. Ancient Texan

    Marie MD- Hating the rich and making them pay for the 47% that pay nothing isn't the answer. The top 5% pay most of the taxes now. Just what percentage of their income would you like to steal from them? Or would taking all their wealth fit into the liberal/progressive plan better?

    September 14, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. EatRunDive

    If there is an emergency, treat it like an emergency and pass a bill raising taxes of the top 5% around 3% for 3 years. Congress' actions, though, make it clear that this is NOT an emergency.

    And extending the Bush tax cuts only made things worse.

    But the wealthy sure are grateful that we've given them all that cash to invest in Asia.

    September 14, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    >The top 1% of Americans earned 25% of all the wealth in our country last year.
    >It's about time they started paying their fair share. If they don't like it, they can go live in China and India and all those other >countries to which they been shipping American jobs.
    And what do YOU think their "fair share" is??? I guess you think they should pay everything to the government?

    And what will you do if they take you up on your offer to move elsewhere? Will YOU make up for all that lost tax revenue? I doubt it.

    You're as clueless as the dolt in the Whitehouse. You don't know how to do anything except spew class warfare hatred. You know NOTHING about MAKING and everything about TAKING. Maybe it's time YOU paid YOUR fair share?!

    September 14, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    @Tea Party Mike
    If you earn 40% of the income, then you should pay 40$ of the taxes. That's why it is called "income" tax. Fund managers pay only 15%, while the middle class pays almost twice that. That is not paying their fair share. No one should be able to pay no taxes because of loopholes.

    Try this loophole on for size:
    A company that manufactures in the US pays taxes of some form on that manufacturing site. If that company moves that manufacturing overseas, then they will pay taxes, too. But, that same company can deduct those foreign taxes *in full* from their US tax obligation. How do you like your taxes now?

    September 14, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Democrats' definition of going big.... "raise taxes on the 'rich' to 100%, create more government entitlement programs, borrow another $50 TRILLION to pay for it all". Welcome to the future the Democrats have in store for us all.

    September 14, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |