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

In what AP is calling a "last-ditch" offer, which had to have been intended to be rejected just so Republicans could say Democrats aren't cooperating:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A congressional official says Democrats on the deficit-cutting supercommittee have rejected a last-ditch offer from the Republicans that would curb deficits by $545 billion over the next decade. [...]

Democrats called it a "halfway" proposal and said it was unbalanced because it included just $3 billion in tax revenue.

That revenue comes from a tax increase focused on owners of corporate jets. Greg Sargent points out that this offer also would essentially eliminate the defense cuts that will trigger if the committee doesn't come up with a plan meeting the $1.2 trillion threshold, replacing them with "cuts that would affect the middle class."

And Brian Beutler adds that the ratio of spending cuts to revenue in this "offer" is 180:1. That's not a real offer from the Republicans. It's an insult and an excuse to say they've put revenues on the table.

1:32 PM PT: Now the Republicans are flatly denying this story. Sargent updates his post:

GOP aides are flatly denying the above version of events. They say they offered Dems $229 billion in new fees and revenues — though no details are yet available, that’s obviously far more than the $3 billion claimed by Dem aides. The GOP offer would also include $316 billion in cuts, $100 billion of which would come from defense cuts, the GOP aides say.

Also: $98 billion in interest. Total savings: $643 billion.

What’s more, GOP aides flatly deny the Dem claims about the trigger. Rather, they say the deal would reduce the overall $1.2 trillion in triggered by the above amount of savings ($643 billion). That would mean a total of over $500 billion in triggered cuts. GOP aides say those cuts would be divided evenly between defense and non-defense cuts, in keeping with how the trigger was originally designed.

Regardless of what this tells us about the actual truth of the offer, what's pretty clear is that this will do nothing to enhance feelings of collegiality on either side. Failure looks pretty much assured.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 12:57 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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