A key feature of the debt-ceiling agreement signed into law by President Barack Obama this week creates a committee of 12 members divided equally between both parties and chambers, tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion more in deficit cuts by Thanksgiving.
“The American people are watching to see if the bipartisan joint committee will develop a plan to responsibly reduce the deficit in a balanced way while promoting economic growth and creating jobs,” Pelosi said in a statement issued late Friday. “The work of this committee will affect all Americans, and its deliberations should be open [to] the press, to the public and webcast.
“Any acceptance of the committee proposal will be dependent on the ability of the American people to fully view its proceedings,” she added.
The House’s top Democrat didn’t comment directly on Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on Friday night, but noted that credit agencies consider transparency as a key component of a nation’s creditworthiness.
The law which the President was in favor of passing does not require for these meetings to be public. It means that our families' lives are now up to this SuperCommittee to be dealt with behind closed doors. This is what happened with the tax cuts for the wealthy. It was all completely done behind closed doors, and we didn't have enough notice to protest before the deal was inked.
And this sort of back-door dealing is intentional. It's been confirmed by White House Press Secretary Carney:
White House press secretary Jay Carney continues to defend the administration's decision not to release details of President Obama's deficit plan: "The senior people in that room walked you through the numbers. We can engage in this, but you know that the reason why we've approached it this way is precisely to make it -- to create the optimum circumstances for a compromise."
"Most of you are veteran Washington reporters," he says. "You know how this process works. That when you put forward a position, it becomes ... charged politically, and your chances of actually getting an agreement diminish significantly. That's how it works. You know that's how it works."
Carney adds that if you don't know that, "then you should." (1:22 p.m.)
The White House has learned their lesson from the public option battle. Releasing too many of the details made it harder for them to get through their deal, and it's what they've done with the debt ceiling deal. And what they're planning to do with the SuperCommittee.
During the August recess, please get up, go to your Representative and Senator's website, and find out when they'll be in town. Meet up with them. Let them know what you think about the SuperCommittee. Demand it be televised and that ALL meetings be in public.
No more backdoor deals behind closed doors. No more of special interests having their way via lobbyists.
Get out there, tell your Representative in person, and demand that the meetings be public. This is your retirement and your health care they're planning to cut. Fight for what you earned.
Don't go quietly into the night. The world is protesting against austerity. Let America protest against austerity as well. Let these politicians know what we really think.
If we don't stand up, tell our Representatives and Senators in person what we think, then what good are we? Are we just to be pliant consumers?
Or can we be active voters instead?
Get out there. Just get out there.