Super Committee headed for failure?
November 18th, 2011
03:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Super Committee headed for failure?

Washington (CNN) - The congressional super committee, facing a fast-approaching deadline, appears headed toward failure unless negotiations shift dramatically in the final few days.

As evidence of the grim mood on Capitol Hill, multiple sources say Republican leaders have proposed a smaller package of spending cuts and revenues as a 'Plan B' if the panel does not succeed, though even this offer appears unlikely to gain much traction.

The smaller cuts are described by Republican sources as "low-hanging fruit," savings both Democrats and Republicans have shown support for in the past. This could include selling federal properties, sales of wireless spectrum and increased government fees among other things. But the plan, which would reduce the deficit by about $640 billion, was dismissed by Democratic leaders according to two Republican sources. Democrats, according to multiple sources, are insisting on a higher revenue component – such as eliminating oil and gas subsidies - to achieve the "balanced approach" they have sought all along.

Republicans, working with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, offered Democratic leaders this "backup plan" which included about $540 billion in mandatory spending cuts and fees, and about $3 billion in revenue from closing the corporate jets tax break said a GOP leadership aide and confirmed by a highly-placed Democratic source.

Sources say the focus has now shifted to finding a way to lessen the blow of the sequester - the automatic across-the-board cuts scheduled to set in if the super committee does not reach agreement on $1.2 trillion in deficit savings over 10 years.

Republicans as well as some Democrats are especially worried about automatic deep cuts targeting the defense budget.

However, it appears unlikely this latest proposal is going anywhere as talks appear to be breaking down over the same issue holding up previous negotiations – taxes. Multiple Democratic sources insist a smaller package like this is not viable if it lacks the "shared pain" that the super committee and the sequester demand. Republicans, on the other hand, remain opposed to tax increases without broader tax reform.

"Our (super committee) members continue to talk among themselves and with their Democratic colleagues about ways to reach the committee's goal, and whether Democrats will agree to any spending cuts without job-killing tax hikes," a GOP leadership aide said.

Sources caution that these latest discussions do not mean the super committee has given up on trying to hit its deficit reduction target by next week. Super committee members insist they are still talking on a bipartisan basis. However, the super committee appears to have made little progress and only has until next Wednesday to meet its statutory deadline.

-CNN's Ted Barrett and Deidre Walsh contributed to this story

Filed under: Debt • Deficit commission
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. chuck weidemann

    What's so super about this committee? Call them that when they reach an agreement!! Until then Republicans can talk all they want about job killing taxes. You think there is going to be a lot of jobs created by defaulting? Is our country going to be safer with the automatic defense cuts? Call the democrats out give them taxes they ask for,get the cuts they offer.Then the repubs can root for it all to fail so they can win an election!!!

    November 18, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. al in memphis

    It was doomed from the beginning with more energy going to developing a strategy to blame the other party when it was all over.
    In the beginning, they should have required that each member of the committee give up their seat for a two year period while they work exclusively on a debt reduction plan that had to be passed in semi-annual increments until we got to a plan that would get the deficit less than 2 trillion ( what we could afford to pay in 2 years)

    After that, they could return to their seat in Congress without having to get reelected. That would take the party politics out of it. So if they did they the right thing while on the committee, then they would have proven themselves worthy of another term because they did what was in the interest of the American people and not party politics.

    November 18, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Stephen

    oh the political puppets can't figure out which strings to cut, what a surprise!

    $1.2 trillion over 10 years? That's $120 billion a year. Our budget is ~$3.5 trillion with a ~$1.5 trillion budget deficit. $120 billion a year is a drop in the bucket!

    What a joke.

    November 18, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. ST

    Super Committee for what? Super for failure?? What a shame and wastage of time!

    November 18, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. chuck weidemann

    Republicans think default means democrats fault!! They don't understand much and are easy to confuse! Just watch the debates!!

    November 18, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. John

    The Committee will fail because that what the Republican want, Than they can Blame the President and the Democrats is why It fail. The Republican are NOT EVEN TRYING TO COMPROMISE IN THIS COMMITTEE. Like Mitch McConnell leader of the Republican In the Senate that It the Republican Job to make President Obama a one term President. Now they have done everything they can to make the American People mad at him. But If you just take time and look It really the Republican that are making America run like Crap. And beside that It up to the American people that decide if he a one Term President not the Republican. Don't let the Republican think the American people are dumb enough to fall for this Just Look at what the Republican have done since taking Control of the House of congress , I will tell you In one word (NOTHING) and they even ran on JOB In 2010 and what have they done about that again (NOTHING). So they American People should start blaming the Real people at Fault and that the Republican and all these Pledges they sign ,they forgot they work for all American People not just special group of people.

    November 18, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. roro

    This was a waste of time from the very beginning. If the Republicans will not accept any additional tax revenue, nothing will ever get done. They are just waiting to get rid of Obama, and then I bet they'll change their tune. They really don't care a whit about the middle class. They just want to regain power, so they can continue their assault on the 99%.

    November 18, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. chuck weidemann

    Republicans will start getting nervous once they muddle thru their best candidates and come up with who is the best of the best! Then they will see how short they fall in their presidential candidate and how lacking the American people see their do nothing leaders in congress to be! By then it will be to late!! Independent thinkers ...most Americans are fed up with the last year of bs! Nothing like this group of clowns to motivate the masses!

    November 18, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    The Committee will fail because that what the Republican want, Than they can Blame the President and the Democrats is why It fail. The Republican are NOT EVEN TRYING TO COMPROMISE IN THIS COMMITTEE.
    Offering $400 billion in increased revenue is more compromise than they had any business offering the Democrats. But the Democrats apparently it all in new taxes with no reform. In that case, the 'failure' of across the board cuts is a better deal for America. I say walk away and let the cuts begin.

    November 18, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Slightly Left of Center

    "Super Committee Headed for Failure?"

    Did anyone really expect otherwise?

    November 18, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. chill out

    The President said everything is on the table but the Republicans insist tax revenues are not that the sticking point so gripe about the Republicans they are the No crowd that has blocked everything the would improve the economy since they took over the house. Just check the record and the trend in job creation that was increasing until the tea party came in.

    November 18, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. A disgusted former Republican

    The republicans on the super committee have resolved to opposed any balanced approach to solving the nation's economic ills. They are committed to supporting tax cuts for the wealthy and their corporate masters. Republicans care less for the average American citizen. Let the super committee fail and let the republicans suffer the consequences.

    November 18, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. ED FL

    Why wouldn't it fail 2 of Washingtons biggest crooks Boehner and Mcconnell assisted by Israels house member Cantor do not want anything to pass so they can try to blame Obama. IT AIN"T GONNA WORK. These three are the most depised people in DC and Obama has slowly but surely found a way to show up these three stooges.

    November 18, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  14. broderick

    Come on we know it wouldn't work we just have to vote them out of office that's it get rid of all these clowns!

    November 18, 2011 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
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