Super Congress

From OpenCongress Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

This page is dedicated to the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction. You can see a timeline of the committee here.


Contents

Legislation

  • Budget Control Act of 2011 - Title IV
  • S. 1498. A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to provide for additional reporting with respect to contributions to members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction; to the Committee on Rules and Administration.
This bill would require Super Committee members to report within 48 hours any contribution of $1,000 or more received during the period beginning on the date the member was appointed to the committee and ending on January 31, 2012.
  • S. 1501. A bill to require the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to conduct the business of the Committee in a manner that is open to the public; to the Committee on Rules and Administration.
This bill would require Super Committee meetings to be open to the public and made available for television coverage, except when discussing classified information.
  • H.R. 2723. The Social Security Protection Act of 2011. 

Amends the Budget Control Act of 2011 to prohibit the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction from proposing any cuts in Social Security benefits under title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) (OASDI) of the Social Security Act (SSA) or under SSA title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) (SSI).

Amends the Budget Control Act of 2011 to prohibit the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction from proposing any reductions in eligibility, payments, or benefits, or any increases in premiums or other cost-sharing that would reduce outlays for, the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act.

  • H.R. 2726. The Education Protection Act of 2011. 

Education Protection Act of 2011 - Amends the Budget Control Act of 2011 to prohibit the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction from proposing any reductions in eligibility, payments, or benefits, or anything that otherwise reduce outlays of budget authority under, the Head Start Act or any program administered by the Secretary of Education, including any program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Higher Education Act of 1965, or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Amends the Budget Control Act of 2011 to prohibit the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction from proposing any reductions in eligibility, payments, or benefits, or that would otherwise reduce outlays of budget authority for: (1) Social Security benefits under title II (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) (OASDI) of the Social Security Act (SSA) or under SSA title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) (SSI); (2) the Medicare program under SSA title XVIII; (3) the Medicaid program under SSA title XIX; or (4) the Head Start Act or any program administered by the Secretary of Education, including any program under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Higher Education Act of 1965, or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

  • H.R. 2796. A bill to require the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to conduct the business of the committee in a manner that is open to the public; to the Committee on Rules.
Same exact purpose as S. 1501. 
  • H.R. 2860. Deficit Committee Transparency Act; to the Committee on Rules.

This bill would require members and staff of the Super Committee to disclose lobbying activities and campaign or member-designated PAC contributions. 

  • H.R. 3201. To Amend the Budget Control Act of 2011 to eliminate the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction; to the Committee on Rules and the Committee on the Budget. 
  • H.R. 12. The American Jobs Act of 2011; to the Committees on Ways and Means, Small Business, Transportation and Infrastructure, Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, House Administration, the Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform, Rules, and Science, Space, and Technology. 

This bill would increase the target and trigger for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

  • S. 1549. American Jobs Act of 2011. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar. 

 Same Purpose as H.R. 12

  • H.Con.Res72. Expressing the sense of Congress that any legislative language approved by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should not reduce benefits for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid recipients; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. 

Congressional Letters in Support of Super Committee Transparency

Sunlight Blog Posts

Click here to see all Sunlight blog posts tagged as being relevant to the Super Committee.

Sunlight Investigations

Sunlight Press Releases

Sunlight Press Mentions

Editorials

OpenSuperCongress Campaign

OpenSuperCongress Campaign Page

Video: "The Debt Ceiling Deal and You"

Sunlight's Aug. 3rd letter to leadership demanding that the Join Select Committee on Deficit Reduction operate openly.

Organizations Call on SuperCommittee to Operate Openly - Aug. 8th letter to leadership


Five things that the Super Committee should post on its website:

  • Live webcasts of all official meetings and hearings
  • The Committee's report should be posted for 72 hours before a final committee vote
  • Disclosure of every meeting held with lobbyists and other powerful interests
  • Disclosure of campaign contributions as they are received (on their campaign websites)
  • Financial disclosures of Committee members and staffers


Congress just pushed through the “Debt Ceiling” bill with almost no transparency. Let’s make sure the new “Super Committee” committee created by this bill operates in the open.

The Super Committee is made up of 12 members of regular Congress who have been given the power to suggest cutting $1.5 trillion dollars from the national debt. Despite the importance of their recommendations, the law that created this committee says very little about how open it should be. Right now, only the first meeting, the ultimate report and the congressional vote on the final product are required to be public.

The stakes are too high for such a powerful committee to operate out of the reach of public oversight. We demand to know what goes on behind the scenes: the Super Committee needs to be transparent about its work and about the special interests who will undoubtably try to influence their decisions. There is precedent for every single one of our recommendations for openness (some of which you can see to the right). Stand with us and demand that this Super Committee display a super level of accountability and transparency.


Supporting organizations:

  • The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
  • The Campaign Legal Center
  • Center for Responsive Politics
  • Feminists for Free Expression
  • Fund for Constitutional Government
  • Government Accountability Project
  • iSolon
  • Legal Publication Services
  • Liberty Coalition
  • OMB Watch
  • Open the Government
  • Progressive Librarians Guild
  • Project on Government Oversight
  • Public Citizen
  • Rebuild the Dream
  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Washington Coalition for Open Government
  • WashingtonWatch.com

Posts and Resources from Our Partners and Other Organizations

Other News

Reporting on the Deals

Days away from a deadline, Congress's deficit-reduction supercommittee is stymied, stumped in large part by one of Washington's seemingly unsolvable problems: What to do with the Bush-era tax cuts? Republicans are digging in against any agreement that does not extend current income-tax rates, which are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. Democrats want them extended only for lower- and middle-income Americans, holding out for higher rates on families with taxable income over $250,000 a year. If any agreement is to be reached on cutting the deficit by next Wednesday's deadline, this impasse must be resolved.
Democrats and Republicans continued their increasingly bitter war of words over bipartisan deficit reduction talks today as the time for leaders to salvage the process runs perilously short. Super committee Co-Chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) insisted that Democrats had offered a counterproposal to a GOP plan from last week and that any final deal must be “fair to working families and puts our country back to work — that’s the task that we have at hand.”
Supercommittee Democrats say they are willing to accept the latest deficit-reduction offer from Republicans, but only if the GOP drops its demand to lower and extend the Bush tax rates. The demand that tax rates stay at their current levels is one of four major Democratic demands that will be tough for Republicans to accept.
Growing Republican support for raising taxes to help reduce the deficit has prompted a GOP identity crisis, sparking a clash within the party over whether to abandon its bedrock anti-tax doctrine. Tensions have mounted in recent days as two of the GOP’s most fervent anti-tax stalwarts on Capitol Hill — Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.) — have lobbied party colleagues behind the scenes to forgo their old allegiances and even break campaign promises by embracing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling said Tuesday Republicans will not alter their supercommittee offer until Democrats put forward a new plan to reform entitlements, as Democrats resisted GOP calls to further cut benefits to Social Security and Medicare. But at the same time, the Texas Republican who co-chairs the special panel signaled the GOP could accept more than $250 billion in tax increases if the Democrats move in their direction on entitlements.
Republican super committee Co-Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) appeared to double-down today on his contention that the GOP will not consider more tax increases as part of any deal to reduce the deficit.
The talks at a standstill, Democratic officials familiar with the work of Congress' debt-reduction supercommittee disclosed they had floated a secret counteroffer late last week to generally accept a Republican framework for a $1.5 trillion compromise, while differing on numerous key details. Democrats signaled a willingness to cut spending by $876 billion, including $225 billion from Medicare and $50 billion from Medicaid, these officials said, and raise tax revenue by $400 billion, far less than they had earlier demanded. They also recommended using $700 billion in unspent funds from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for a jobs program along the lines President Barack Obama wants, plus steps to protect the upper middle class from the alternative tax and extending financing for doctors who treat Medicare patients.
Super-committee members from both parties are now embracing using savings from withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan in any plan they can devise by next week to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
The idea had been derided by Republicans as a gimmick early on in deliberations by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. But the prospect has grown more tempting as panel members scramble to avoid missing next week’s Nov. 23 deadline for coming up with a deficit plan and try to avoid triggering automatic budget cuts. The White House has said more than $1 trillion will be saved from the drawdown of troops, a computation that relies on a Congressional Budget Office assumption that war spending stays at the temporary levels of last year for the next 10 years.
A bipartisan pair of supercommittee members huddled behind closed doors Monday night at the Capitol, as the debt-reduction panel faces a critical deadline in nine days. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat, met with House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, Michigan Republican, in the latter’s committee office for about a half-hour. A Republican aide described the meeting as “impromptu.” “We’re were just kicking around ideas … a little bit of this and that,” said Mr. Van Hollen as the two lawmakers walked briskly away from reporters after the gathering.
A day after super-committee Democrats floated a plan to cut $2.3 trillion over 10 years from the deficit, as posted by National Journal, Republicans on Thursday circulated a cheeky, annotated version drafted by a GOP aide. Joking aside, the document illustrates how Republicans view the proposal and highlights the chasm between the 12-member panel's six Democrats and six Republicans as their Nov. 23 deadline for recommending at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reducion over a decade looms.
But Toomey said that if agreement is not reached on how to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the nation’s deficit over the next decade, “I think a lively debate will occur” over whether to allow the automatic cuts take place—so-called sequestration—despite President Obama’s insistence on Friday he would not go along with any attempt to turn them off.
Several aides involved in the process said ongoing bipartisan talks — which continued over the weekend in Washington and by telephone — have so far yielded few results. Intraparty fissures on both sides are breaking into the open. And there’s now open talk of putting off tough decisions on entitlements and tax reform and dismantling the sequester mandate to avoid the punishment Congress created for failure — a move that President Barack Obama said he opposes.
Sens. Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), Republican members of the deficit-reduction supercommittee, are trying to attract Democrats off the special panel to support their plan to restructure the tax code. Toomey and Portman met with Democratic and Republican members of the Gang of Eight on Wednesday to present their plan to reduce the deficit, according to Senate sources. The ambitious proposal would raise about $300 billion in new net tax revenues and lower marginal income tax rates across the board.
In a rare media availability, Hensarling said he believed both parties are still acting in good faith and that Republicans had made a “major concession” in their most recent offer to Democrats by including provisions that could levy up to $300 billion in revenues by reforming the tax code to eliminate deductions. The brief exchange with the press came the day after tensions on the panel hit another high over the proper balance of tax hikes and changes to entitlement programs.
Super committee Democrats struck back at Republicans today by releasing further details of a lightly reported deficit reduction proposal that the Democrats pitched in a small, hours-long negotiating session Monday night. The plan would be worth $2.3 trillion in savings over 10 years, with $1 trillion in revenues, $1 trillion in cuts and $300 billion in interest — a $700 billion reduction overall from the Democrats’ first offer. Republicans on the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction leaked their own proposal Tuesday. That plan is worth $1.2 trillion over 10 years and made up of $500 billion in revenues and $700 billion in cuts.
Congressional Democrats, who are pushing for $1.3 trillion in new revenue and the same amount in cuts as part of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, have rejected a Republican proposal to increase revenue by roughly $600 billion, half of which comes from taxes. 
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) took a different tone than Democratic colleagues Wednesday and applauded the Republican offer to raise $300 billion in new taxes as part of a deficit-reduction deal. Durbin, the second-ranking Senate Democratic leader, chose to focus on the positive and hailed the latest development as a “breakthrough.” He was worked on a massive deficit-reduction package for more than a year as a member of the Simpson-Bowles commission and the Senate’s Gang of Six.
Although panel members have publicly outlined three offers recently, staffers said those plans are just the public element of a steady exchange of informal offers. Around the same time as a proposal by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that would link eliminating popular tax deductions to reducing marginal tax rates set in President George W. Bush's administration, which Republicans called a major concession, committee Cochair Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, floated what sources described as a more purely Republican plan. Aides said the proposal would cut the deficit by almost $4 trillion over 10 years.
As the Super Committee approaches its deadline, a new poll shows that the public is conflicted about which proposal to support. By a margin of 49 percent to 44 percent, the public favored the Democratic plan suggested earlier this month that would include “$4 trillion in deficit reduction through a combination of federal spending cuts and tax increases on wealthier Americans” over “a Republican plan that calls for $3 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts alone, with no tax increases.”
John Kerry responded to the GOP's tax proposal by saying that there was still significant distance between the two parties. “Well, [Republicans] are anxious to promote a certain concept with all of you, but I’ll be very clear that whatever they put there doesn’t get the job done, and we’ve got some distance to travel and we’re working very hard to do that,” Kerry, a super committee member, told reporters following the weekly Senate lunches.
Senate Republicans are willing to accept hundreds of billions of dollars in net tax increases over a decade as a part of a super committee deal, according to aides who call the move a major concession. Democrats describe it as a public relations ruse, and one they have already rejected. Republicans are proposing eliminating certain tax benefits, while allowing Bush era reductions in marginal tax rates to become permanent. 
Congressional Republicans aren't going back on their no-tax-increases pledge, but they are talking about how to raise revenues. Their ideas include raising medicare premiums on high earners, upping fees for government services and programs, and eliminating some subsidies and tax deductions. 
Earlier today, Democrats leaked a $3 trillion deficit-reduction package to the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Dow Jones and Reuters but in each case, one major government expense was not mentioned: defense spending. The outline of the plan, independently reported by each outlet, calls for savings though "cuts to federal entitlement programs and Medicare coupled with at least $1 trillion in new taxes." It's not clear why the Pentagon, which is on the hook for a $600 billion haircut if a deal between Democrats and Republicans isn't reached, is left out of the Democratic proposal. (Thus far, reports say the bulk of the savings will come from about $400 billion in Medicare savings and revenues from tax increases.) What is clear, however, is the aggressiveness in which military contractors are lobbying members of the Super Committee...
Republicans on the deficit supercommittee have presented a counteroffer to Democrats that would reduce the deficit by $2.2 trillion over a decade. The GOP plan includes no tax increases, but does include up to $640 billion in new revenue. Some of this revenue is from increased user fees, and some is expected gains in tax revenue from an economy the GOP expects will improve from its plan...
The top Democrat in the House declined Thursday to endorse cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits proposed by Senate Democrats earlier this week. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also said a counter-offer from Republicans on the deficit "supercommittee" - it totals about $2.2 trillion - isn't bold or balanced enough because it lacks tax revenues...
Democrats on the debt-reduction super committee proposed a plan for slashing up to $3 trillion from the federal debt but Republicans swiftly and decisively rejected it because it relied heavily on tax increases, according to several congressional sources from both parties...
According to congressional sources, the [Democrats'] plan includes a roughly equal mix of spending cuts and revenue increases; between $200 billion and $300 billion in new economic stimulus spending that would be paid for with lower interest payments from reducing deficits; and around $400 billion in Medicare savings, with half coming in benefit cuts and the other half in cuts to healthcare providers...
Boehner said that the 12 members of the bipartisan, bicameral panel deserve “a pat on the back.” Then he lashed out against the Democratic plan described by staffers as saving about $3 trillion over 10 years, chiding that “it’s time for everybody to get serious.” The speaker said he particularly took issue with the Democrats’ inclusion of $1.3 trillion in tax increases in the proposal. He also derided its only "$50 billion" in cuts to Medicaid, the program that covers the sick and disabled [ ... ] Meanwhile, the reception by Democrats on the panel to a $2.2 trillion proposal being offered by Republicans was described as chilly. Democrats reportedly resent Republicans' claims that their plan is as conciliatory as the Democratic proposal. Democrats say they’ve agreed to serious entitlement cuts while Republicans have not budged on their anti-new tax stance...
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday rejected a proposal by the Democratic members of the congressional supercommittee on deficit reduction, declaring its $1.3 trillion in tax increases unacceptable...
After two months of near daily negotiations, the gulf between Democrats and Republicans on the deficit-cutting supercommittee remains deep. The two sides remain hundreds of billions of dollars apart with both parties dug in on protecting their cherished priorities — GOP leaders are refusing to consider tax increases, while Democrats are insisting that increased revenues be part of a final deal...
Two very different debt-reduction proposals leaked to the media this week show that Democrats and Republicans on the supercommittee are still miles apart on a deal, as the clock ticks down toward a Thanksgiving deadline for a unified plan. After almost two months of mostly secret meetings, the 12 members of the bipartisan panel so far are sticking to their partisan guns, with Democrats calling for tax increases and some spending cuts, while Republicans remain opposed to any new taxes.
Amid a flurry of counter-proposals from the deficit-reduction committee, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday rejected a Democratic offer to slash $3 trillion from future debts because it contained significant tax increases. While GOP negotiators offered a slimmer package of savings with virtually no tax hikes, Boehner said the Democratic request for $1.3 trillion in new tax revenue was a non-starter and gave his most pessimistic outlook to date that the so-called “supercommittee” would achieve its deficit target by its Thanksgiving deadline.

On Twitter

Hashtags

Accounts

Super Committee Members

The members of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction were selected by party leaders in the House and Senate. Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader in the House, and Harry Reid, Majority Leader in the Senate, selected the Democrats on the committee. John Boehner, Speaker of the House, and Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader in the Senate, selected the Republicans on the committee. The committee is co-chaired by Rep Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). 

House

See profiles on the House GOP and House Democrats.

Jeb Hensarling

Rep. Hensarling is a Republican from Texas' 5th congressional district and chairman of the Republican Conference. He will co-chair the committee. See his profile on Influence Explorer.

Dave Camp

Rep. Camp is a Republican from Michigan's 4th congressional district and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. See his profile on Influence Explorer.

Fred Upton

Rep. Upton is a Republican from Michigan's 6th congressional district and chairman of the Energy and Commerce committee. See his profile on Influence Explorer

Chris Van Hollen

Rep. Van Hollen is a Democrat from Maryland's 8th congressional district and the ranking member on the House Budget Committee. See his profile on Influence Explorer.

Jim Clyburn

Rep. Clyburn is a Democrat representing South Carolina's 6th congressional district and a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. See his profile on Influence Explorer. of South Carolina and

Xavier Becerra

Rep. Becerra is a Democrat representing California's 31st congressional district and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. See his profile on Influence Explorer.

Senate

See profiles on the Senate GOP and Senate Democrats.

Patty Murray

Sen. Murray is a Democrat from Washington state and chairs the Democratic campaign committee. She will co-chair the committee. See her profile on Influence Explorer

John Kerry

Sen. Kerry is a Democrat from Massachusetts and chairman of the Foreign Relations committee. He was also a presidential nominee in 2004. See his profile on Influence Explorer.

Max Baucus

Sen. Baucus is a Democrat from Montana and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. See his profile on Influence Explorer.

Jon Kyl

Sen. Kyl is a Republican from Arizona, the Senate minority whip, and a member of the Biden group. Sen. Kyle won’t be running for reelection in 2012. See his profile on Influence Explorer.

Pat Toomey

Sen. Toomey is a Republican from Pennsylvania and former president of Club for Growth, an anti-tax group and his top campaign contributor. See his profile on Influence Explorer.

Rob Portman

Sen. Portman is a Republican from Ohio and is a member of the Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs and the Senate Budget Committee. See his profile on Influence Explorer


Toolbox