'Super committee' co-chair has hope
November 13th, 2011
10:28 AM ET
11 years ago

'Super committee' co-chair has hope

Washington (CNN) – The Republican co-chair of the so-called “super committee” trying to forge a major deficit reduction deal said Sunday that a two-step process is possible in which the bipartisan panel sets a figure for increased revenue from tax reform that congressional committees then set in legislation.

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he remains hopeful for a comprehensive deal, but he made clear that an alternative could leave it to Congress to figure out how to implement results agreed upon by the 12-member panel made up of equal numbers of House and Senate Democrats and Republicans.

Explain it to me: The 'Super Committee'

“There could be a two-step process that would hopefully give us pro-growth tax reform,” Hensarling said.

The panel created under the debt ceiling deal earlier this year has until November 23 to reach an agreement on at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. If it works out an agreement, Congress must vote on the unamended plan by December 23. Failure to reach an agreement or gain approval by Congress and President Barack Obama would trigger significant automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect in 2013.

Hensarling said Sunday that the process will fail unless Democrats are willing to accept significant reforms to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, the government-run health care systems for the disabled, poor and elderly. Democrats, meanwhile, say any solution must be balanced with spending cuts, entitlement reforms and increased tax revenue.

“We believe that frankly increasing tax revenues could hurt the economy, but within the context of bipartisan negotiations with Democrats, clearly they are a reality,” Hensarling told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley

Republicans have offered a proposal with $1.4 trillion in deficit reduction, including $500 billion in new revenue from capping individual deductions while cutting all six income tax rates by roughly 20%. Under the proposal, the top rate would fall from 35% to 28%.

Democrats immediately rejected the plan as insufficient, saying it would end up decreasing revenue in the long run by permanently extending tax cuts from the Bush administration that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.

“There are no real spending cuts on the table,” Hensarling said. “All we are talking about here is slowing the rate of growth. All of these programs by and large are going to continue to grow but at a pace that would become more sustainable.”

The Republican proposal would bring in more revenue by spurring economic growth, he insisted, adding: “We Republicans want more revenues. We just want to raise it by growing the economy.”

Also see:

Top Senate Democrat belittles 'phony' GOP tax concessions

First step on tax increases by Republicans

Durbin: GOP proposal on tax increases could be 'breakthrough'

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Deficit commission • Jeb Hensarling • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. bilk7

    The idea is to cut spending, not taxes for the rich! The Republicans don't seem to get it. Taxes are at a 65 year low right now and it has cuased huge deficits, high unemployment, and a spiraling economy. The GOP seems to want to throw gas on the fire!

    November 13, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. Seattle Sue

    Jeb Hensarling said, yes we can make it work if we just cut poor and working people and cut taxes for my wealthy, powerful friends.

    November 13, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. KatR

    “We Republicans want more revenues. We just want to raise it by growing the economy.”

    And their idea of growing the economy is to sacrifice public health and safety by gutting govt regulations and facilitating more uncontrolled free market growth. I am not a Democrat nor a Republican. I am an American. And I do NOT want a govt that allows a free market to trample on my Creator given right to breathe clean air and drink uncontaminated water. And I want a govt that raises the necessary revenue to pay the $14 trillion dollars of debt previous Congresses spent.

    November 13, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Tom

    Suoer Committee C0-Chair, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, needs to read and heed: “Billions Wasted on Billing,” By EZEKIEL J. EMANUEL, NYT [Electronic Health Records].

    It is infuriating to listen to No-Tax pledge-signing Republicans chastise AARP Members for speaking out against their proposed cuts to Medicare BENEFITS. By all means AARP Members support cuts to systemic waste and inherent infrastructural stupidity like the outrageous Billing System. Please do save those WASTEFUL billions—before you begin whacking BENEFITS! But, don’t insult us by proposing cuts to benefits—while saying that any proposal that increases taxes is “unacceptable and a non-starter.” [Boehner]

    November 13, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Face it. Obama rigged the game, before it ever started, and fully planned the auto cuts. Defense gets a major hit, partly because Obama knew most of the troops were coming home from Iraq, anyway, and medicare is taking a big hit, because Obama is forcing seniors to buy their own insurance under ObamaCare, despite having paid taxes to get Medicare all of their lives.

    Obama is playing us all for fools......and we are demonstrating that the shoe fits!

    November 13, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  6. former Texas republican

    It's apparant that Hensarling's role in this economic conclave is to maintain the GOP Party Line, as put forth by it's Guru's, Mitch McConnell and Grover Norquist. Any notion that this "little boy, all dressed up in a man's suit, is going to actually do the heavy lifting, and risk being slapped down, is ridiculous.

    November 13, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    I hope super committee will ends in blaming game, Once super committee member came out and said to media “There are no real spending cuts on the table,”

    Game is on to point the fingers or blame

    November 13, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Eagle Eye

    I wouldn't put any stock in the 12 senators on the "Super Committee". These 12 couldn't run a "lemon aid stand" or balance their own check book. The bewitching hour is coming real soon and it the "Super Committee" can't come up with a solution then all they did was waste the tax payer's money and show that they can't decide on anything. But when it comes to a pay raise the all can decide on that. But to do what the American People elected to do they can't. Everyone has to remember that they will tell the American People that they know what is good for America and good the American People. Like I said these 12 couldn't run a "Lemon Aid Stand"

    November 13, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Debbie

    Hope? What a joke. Super Committee was DOA. None are doing what needs to be done. Bush Tax Cuts were JOBS bills in 2001 and 2003 to stimulate the economy by giving the top wealth more $$ to spend and create jobs. Didn't happen pure and simple. Stopping the Bush Tax Cuts is not raising taxes on the wealthy as Norquist wants all to believe. It removes a stimulus plan that failed. Cut defense spending as in Pakistan, Afganistan, etc. It's simple but none on the Super Committee are American Patriots but Party Puppets and American Turncoats. Hope? I have none!

    November 13, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. WiredweirdoinSF

    The poor delusional fool does not realize that the corrupt union bosses are calling all of the shots for the Democrats and they have nothing but contempt for the people who actually work and pay taxes. Their corrupt inept, incompetent toadie occupies the White House and is folloiwng their instructions in how to destroy the country.

    November 13, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. John

    The Republican will end up messing this Super committee to and the American people will end up paying for the Republican mess-up again. The BUSH TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH MUCH END. You have to rise taxes to get more revenue coming Into the Government. When are you Republican going to start listening to the American people. You Republican don't have any business be In charge Of Congress or anything else. And you will find this out In 2012. Stop worry about the Pledges you sign with special group of people , that you shouldn't have sign In the First Place. And srat worrying about the Oath you swear on a Bible to all the American people when you took office.

    November 13, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    A sure way for republicans to address our national debt is to give even more tax breaks to the 1%.

    November 13, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Every republican who signed Grover Norquist's pledge to not raise taxes, has violated their sworn oath to the American people.

    November 13, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Honestly

    Mind ther are no republicanpolitians that will ever have to worry about if they will need medicare or medicaid let alone SS, they are all millionaires. Yet intead of helpng the American people they want put all of further into the abyss with no way possible for any not soooo financially set American family. to maintain any kind of lifestyle. For the hard working and deserving American which most us are not. Education out the window and as Michelle BACHMN stated on tv that if you dont work you deserve to eat, the rich and arrogant want to make sure there will not be ladder for any of us to climb. All they want to do at the cost of all of us is to get that Black man out of the Presidential office, rasicm at its ugliest, the only President in years that has tried to ensure our rights and the ability to work. Get that colored man out of our office.

    November 13, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    There is not a republican running for president that is qualified. For that matter, I am not sure they are qualified to even carry Obama's jock strap.

    November 13, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    These republicans in congress are nothing more than Koch soakers.

    November 13, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How does explain to the really weird teabaggers, that it was the Bush/republican error that almost destroyed the country?

    November 13, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Brian In Denver

    Dear kettle:
    You're black,


    November 13, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Darren, Orange County CA

    Democrats PLEASE grow a spine and do not let the GOP cut Social Security or Healthcare to give away more tax breaks to the Rich and well-connected.

    November 13, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. rcc82

    The deep divisions within this "super-committee" are a reflection of a deeply divided country. Each side believes that their solution is the right one, but unless we all start working together, this crisis will just continue to worsen. No one will be immune to the consequences, because we are living in an increasingly interconnected world. My economic well-being depends on yours, and yours depends on mine. We need to recognize that compromise and concern for each other are necessary to resolve this crisis together.

    November 13, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. mesamick

    Here's how it's gonna go down folks...Super committee can't reach a deal pulling the "trigger" on cuts. Cons panic, vote to repeal the original deal and we will then be exactly where we were BEFORE the threat to default on the country's debt was held hostage by the GOP/TPers – And the Bushie-43 tax cuts for the top 2%ers is still alive and well with high fives had at all GOP/TP organizations all around the country...

    November 13, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |