Skip to main content

super congress members
Super Congress: Reps. Upton, Bacerra, Hensarling, and Sens. Murray, Kyl, Baucus, Portman and Kerry
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

No one could have predicted:
WASHINGTON — With just five weeks until its deadline, a secretive Congressional committee seeking ways to cut the federal deficit is far from a consensus, and party leaders may need to step in if they want to ensure agreement, say people involved in the panel’s work.

The 12-member committee is just over halfway through the 76-day interval from its first meeting to the date its final report is due on Nov. 23, but has not gained much traction. The lawmakers have not agreed on basic elements like a benchmark against which savings will be measured. [...]

A Republican who has worked on Capitol Hill for more than two decades said: “Basically we are going in circles. It’s going very, very slowly. The only way this will work is if the leaders decide they want to get a deal and lay down parameters. Everybody is sitting around sucking their thumb until they get some guidance on what to do.”

Some lawmakers expressed similar views.

“My impression is they are not progressing too rapidly,” said Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, which is responsible for Medicare, Medicaid and taxes. “Things are not moving too fast.”

Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, said: “These 12 people are no more autonomous than your left thumb. They need some guidance from the White House and from the leadership of Congress." [...]

A person working for the committee said members were “still hovering at 30,000 feet,” asking basic questions: “What is the baseline? Are we doing tax reform?"

In many ways, this is actually encouraging. It means that, at the very least, Democrats on the committee aren't giving in on key issues. Of course, they could also just give up and adopt the Gang of Six's ugly plan, something the Gang has been pushing. They had a closed-door meeting with the committee yesterday. They have to have something figured out by Nov. 23.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:15:16 AM PDT

  •  The obvious solution: (14+ / 0-)

    a Super DUPER Congress! That's the ticket!

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:18:54 AM PDT

  •  No matter what happens (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, porchdog1961

    I guarantee we will be left holding the bag. Then again, that's how the entire thing was set-up to do...


    I didn't abandon the fight, I abandoned the Party that abandoned the fight...

    by Jazzenterprises on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:20:26 AM PDT

  •  Good news. (13+ / 0-)

    The best possible outcome here is that they fail to produce a plan.  Congress would be forced to either accept across-the-board cuts, or change their minds and step back from this austerity nonsense.  My bet (my hope, at least), is that they would blink and "postpone" the whole thing for a while.

    If, at the end of the day, I am satisfied with myself, then I have succeeded.

    by lilnev on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:28:03 AM PDT

  •  This is as good a place as any to discuss this.... (5+ / 0-)

    There is going to be a special election here in eastern Iowa next month.  It is for a State Senator position.  Both sides are issuing commercials, as expected.

    The Democratic candidate's ad goes basically along the lines that she's lived and worked 'here' all her life, she's fought for the people as a reporter and in the non-profit she now works for and she's raised her family here like everyone else - she'll do the same in the Senate.

    The Republican candidate's ad goes basically like this:  We've voted one celebrity into office (Obama) and all we got was more debt, more spending, and record job losses, I'll change that because I'm a small business owner and have had to balance my books....

    It's going to be tight as to who wins.  Both are life long 'local' women.  This vote will determine the balance of government in the State from the Democrats holding the Senate and the Republicans everything else to basically the Republicans in charge of everything.... and it won't be good results for the population.

    •  Community v. individuality (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nonnie9999, nchristine

      Never so clear an issue, the GOP thinks of Obama as an individual (celebrity) and the Dem thinks of us as being part of the community. The Repug speaks about being an individual biz owner, disconnected from community, and the Dem worked in social service (non-profit).

      Talk about being in community, sell the idea of being a community. Look at us today. There's a hole in our economic boat; are we all in the same boat, or not? The hole is the problem. Which candidate is ready to work on a solution, the one who is dividing us into celebrity supporter v. everybody else, or the one who wants us to work together to bail out the boat and patch the hole?

  •  So on November 23, if they don't have a plan... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thinking Fella

    ...what happens?

    It is up to Obama and/or the Legislative?; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by Shockwave on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:45:51 AM PDT

    •  It's up to Obama (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      From the article;

      If legislation to save that amount is not enacted, the president is supposed to make up the difference by imposing across-the-board cuts in most military and civilian programs in January 2013

      Obama is supposed to come up with $1.2 T in budget cuts in 2013.  All in one year or spread out?; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

      by Shockwave on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 10:49:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re (4+ / 0-)

        Well, considering that the entire federal budget is on the order of $1.4T/year, they probably aren't planning to cut $1.2T...!

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 11:05:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the *President*??? No, I thought it was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        supposed to be Congress.

        Are you kidding me?  one more kind of power relegated to the executive?

        Isn't that special.

        Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 11:52:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How can the President "impose" cuts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        this is way way way beyond line-item veto powers

        he just gets to decide who lives and who dies, budgetarily speaking?

        wow, no wonder he agreed to that crap deal.

        Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 11:53:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thats what being an executive is! (9+ / 0-)

          Thats where they left it. If the Joint Committee doesn't produce something for both Houses of Congress to have an "up or down" vote on (NO amendments, NO filibuster in the Senate; them's was the rules!), or the amount they choose to cut OVER TEN YEARS is too small,
          YES, the President and ONLY the President will get to choose what to cut. Certain programs are exempt (Social Security, Veterans, Medicare (nearly)).

          WHY did the GOP agree to this back in August?
          A) No one beats Obama at the waiting game of public patience.
          B) They figured the Democrats on the joint Committee would cave. (Jury still out, but so far this is NOT working for the GOP.)
          C) They wanted to saddle Obama with making cuts in defense spending in 2012 so they could run against him and all the Democrats as......wait for it......"soft on defense"!

          NOW the GOP is figuring out (they mostly have trouble tying their shoes) that one HELL of a lot of Americans think big slices OUGHT TO be carved out of the defense budget and will CHEER anybody who does it.
          ALSO, since it is literally Obama's call (unless overriden by an Act of Congress--good luck with that) he can go through the defense and non-defense budget LINE BY LINE.

          "Lets see. Defense contract in Boehner's district: cut to zero and save $300 million.
          "EPA project in Cantor's district: cut to zero: save $80 million.
          "Tinker Air Force Base in the Oklahoma, the reddest state in the country in '08: Close that, save $362 million in Inhofe's and Coburn's state.
          "On the other hand, another $75 million in New England for Amtrak funding. Add $63 million in tidal electric generation in Pelosi's district....."
                "This morning Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney announced the last 5 minute's worth of cuts in spending from the President's Working Group total $604 million... The Dow Jones spiked higher by 79 points at the announcement...."

          Just saying....


          "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

          by WineRev on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 01:41:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  god please not the gang of six (0+ / 0-)

    have been much less supportive of Durbin since he participated in that horrible nonsense

    lower the nominal tax rate on the uppermost brackets below the Bush tax rates--that's just f**king wonderful.


    Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 11:50:45 AM PDT

  •  "Sitting around sucking their thumbs?" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, nonnie9999

    Waiting for directions from leaders?

    abort, retry, fail Pictures, Images and Photos

    At this point, far more people have now been arrested for protesting Wall Street's mortgage fraud crimes than have been for committing and presiding over them.

    by Scott Wooledge on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:04:46 PM PDT

  •  John McCain is Excellent News for This! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  OTOH fundraising has been awesome (4+ / 0-)

    Super Fundraising

    This old cynic wonders if that was just a happy coincidence.  

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

    by LucyandByron on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:17:18 PM PDT

  •  They will recommend giving themselves more time (0+ / 0-)

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:19:33 PM PDT

  •  I think I know what the problem is. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nonnie9999, a gilas girl

    What the Super Congress didn't realize is that in the age of cell phones, there are no telephone booths in which to change into Super Congress costumes.  Hence, the current failure.

    Perhaps an allocation of funds for construction?  Call it a jobs program.

    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:23:14 PM PDT

  •  No deal, better than any deal... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that Democrats would likely be able to make with the GOP.  Better to make this a lose/lose than a lose (99%) / win (GOP).  There is no win for us.

    The only chance we had of a win was when the Bush tax cuts were set to expire.  Both a veto pen and simply not renewing the legislation were easy wins and had enormous leverage.  Neither were used.

    "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

    by Celtic Pugilist on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:25:15 PM PDT

  •  Whose brilliant idea was this again? (0+ / 0-)

    And why did any Democrats agree to go along with this?

    Oh, wait...

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:25:56 PM PDT

  •  Orrin needs to shut the F up. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He had a chance to be on that committee but declined because he was worried about how it would affect his re-election chances with the TBaggers here in Utah.

    Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience.

    by God loves goats on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:29:35 PM PDT

  •  No way they will give in. (0+ / 0-)

    The Democrats are going to stand strong.

    There is absolutely no way they can afford to capi....  Haaaa...


    Oh well...

    I almost said that with a straight face....

    -9.63 -6.92
    Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

    by rick on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:31:26 PM PDT

  •  maybe we'd be better off... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...if it all got chalked up to a failed publicity stunt.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 02:35:32 PM PDT

  •  Their little plan is subject to being ignored (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    by any future Congress.  Repeal isn't even necessary.  In fact, a case could be made now that sends the thing right back up the mighty asshole of Congress from which it emerged.

    All Dems need to do is cancel austerity, fuck with Repukes behind the scenes some more and the secrecy gives filibustering Dems all the cover in the world that they have needed to come out strong for the people who elected them.

    Or they can collapse as usual and let OCCUPY overrun the Capitol Building and shut down the bridges into D.C.  

  •  I for one welcome (0+ / 0-)

    Continuing Resolutions every 2 months for every thing that costs money.  It was good enough for Washington and Jefferson and it's good enough for Obama.

    •  It's not good (0+ / 0-)

      for a modern nation with modern needs and a modern budget. Part of the reason Congress is so dysfunctional now is that its consent (particularly the Senate) is needed on so many must-pass bills that are now held hostage to political process.  

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 03:24:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My hopes for the SuperDuper Congress (0+ / 0-)

    are the same as the Republicans' hopes for America.

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 03:18:36 PM PDT

  •  "Far from consensus.." (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps if they just consulted the GA in Zucotti Park on how to go about achieving consensus..........

    I've got my spine, I've got my (DKos) orange crush, we are agents of the free.....R.E.M.

    by FlamingoGrrl on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 03:22:52 PM PDT

  •  Rubber hasn't met the road for TeaBaggers yet. (0+ / 0-)

    They have over a month, after all, before they come face to face with either reneging on their agreement, or accept mandated cuts.

    Keep in mind, the Super Committee was created as a way for Republicans to put their TeaBaggers in line, rather than face the world-wide disaster they were about to create with a US default.

  •  So when the trigger gets pulled...... (0+ / 0-)

    the Treasury decides what gets cut...CORRECT!??!  But, they are bound by some vague constraints as to what percentage is entitlements and what percentage is elsewhere (DEFENSE).....

    I don't think the neo-cons and con-hawks are going to like the outcome of the cuts....I think that just the right amount of waste could get cut from entitlements, and a WHOLE SHIT TON could get cut from defense....

    These defense contractors vote Republican, stand out there and support the TBAGS, and then are always the first ones in line on their knees to suck at the government's T-d-E-i-A-c-T-k......

    Some jobs will get cut, but they will be government CONTRACT jobs...and rightly so....Wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit to see their unemployment benefits get cut too....Then, we'll see who's out there a TBAGGIN".....

  •  Dems Have The Hostages Here (0+ / 0-)

    Those defense cuts are anathema to Repubs.

    And any cuts would happen AFTER the election, so, always time for the new Dem congress to fix.

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: []

    by Beetwasher on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 06:59:49 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site