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Checking in on the Supercommittee

October 20, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

When Congress created the deficit supercommittee they attached a trigger to it that would automatically enact large cuts in defense spending if they failed to vote out a proposal. The idea was that nobody in Congress wants to make major cuts to defense so the threat would compel the supercommittee to accomplish the kind of deficit-reduction compromise that the full House and Senate were unable to achieve. More than halfway through the supercommittee’s tenure, however, the only progress being made involves finding a way out of the trigger (WaPo):

So far, defense hawks have focused on finding a way around the trigger, with some senior Republicans privately urging the supercommittee to count savings from the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, worth as much as $1.1 trillion over the next decade.

Boehner last week dismissed that approach, saying the reductions are “already going to happen.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has criticized war savings as “gimmicks and accounting tricks.” But some GOP lawmakers privately view them as the best hope for avoiding automatic cuts to defense. Others, such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have vowed to defuse the trigger through legislation if the supercommittee fails to act.

Predictably, the supercommittee is gridlocked over taxes. The Republicans won’t accept any deal that raises taxes and the Democrats won’t accept any deal that cuts spending without also raising tax revenues. Who could have guessed?

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  • Marcusgs 10/20/2011 5:37pm

    Until we get true campaign reform we are going to have the grid lock created by the republican’s vs. the Democrats with the lobbyist pulling all of the strings. There is no reason for some who is suppose to represent his or her constitutes to receive campaign money from any one or company that are not his constitutes. There should be a federally set limit on how much money a campaign can spend. There is no reason to need hundred of millions of dollars to get your message out to only the people who have a legal right to vote for you. A company can not cast a vote so they should not be able to contribute to a campaign.

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