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Supercommittee

On The Media

Was the SuperCommittee a Super Failure?

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Spending failed to reach an agreement in time for its Thanksgiving week deadline.  The so-called "Supercommittee" of six Republicans and six Democrats was created last summer to cut the deficit by more than one trillion dollars, or else automatic cuts would be triggered.  Bob speaks to New York Magazine politics writer Jonathan Chait who says the Supercommittee wasn't a failure at all, it did exactly what it was designed to do.

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Transportation Nation

LaHood: Avoid Across-the-Board Cuts after Supercommittee Failure

Monday, November 21, 2011

The congressional supercommittee officially tossed in the towel on Monday afternoon. That's after the six Democrats and six Republicans failed to get close to any agreement on how to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in debt reduction over the next ten years.

Now Washington confronts what's known as the "sequester": $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts that take effect January 2013. Half the cuts come from defense, and hawkish lawmakers are already pledging to undo those. But the other half come from across-the-board cuts to discretionary programs, including transportation. On Monday evening, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued the following statement:

“When times are tough, Americans have always come together to accomplish big things. It’s disappointing that some in Congress haven’t been willing to do the same. Because the supercommittee failed to reach an agreement, we now face across-the-board cuts to programs that are critical to rebuilding our crumbling transportation infrastructure and putting Americans back to work."

President Obama pledged Monday to veto any attempt by Congress to undo the cuts, absent a broader deal on the debt.

Another casualty of the supercommittee failure was President Obama's jobs package. Democrats had hoped to attach significant infrastructure spending to the committee's end product. LaHood had this to say in his statement:

“The American people want common sense, bipartisan solutions that take a balanced approach to reducing the deficit while protecting critical transportation investments that create jobs and allow our economy to grow.  When Congress comes back next month, I urge them to set aside politics and get to work on a bipartisan plan that will allow us to live within our means, while also meeting our responsibility to rebuild America’s critical transportation infrastructure.”

A White House official said Monday evening that Democrats would have a "laser" focus on enacting parts of the president's jobs plan between now and the end of the year. Presumably that will mean a return to infrastructure policy and attacking Republicans over their unwillingness to pass more stimulus.

House Republicans have unveiled their own 5-year transportation bill, funding the Highway Trust Fund to the tune of $130 billion and making streamlining reforms to infrastructure grants and loans. House Speaker John Boehner says he would like to see the bill pass before the end of the year.

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The Takeaway

This Weeks's Agenda: Super Committee, Euro Crisis, Thanksgiving

Monday, November 21, 2011

The week starts out on an ominous note as the Congressional "super committee" charged with reducing the national debt announces that they will not reach a deal. What went wrong during their negotiations, and where do we go from here? How will markets react? Also, the Euro crisis rages on as another government falls in Spain with the election of a new Conservative party. Finally, another GOP debate, the start of the holiday shopping season, and Thanksgiving traditions from Takeaway guests.

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The Washington Report

Deficit Super Committee Still Deadlocked Days Before Deadline

Monday, November 21, 2011

In this week's Washington Report, David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, speaks to Kerry Nolan about the deadlocked supercommittee.

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It's A Free Country ®

Himes: A Wall Street Democrat’s Take on OWS, Compromise

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The reality is that right now, the president of the United States does not hold nearly as much power with respect to where we go in the next ten years than the twelve members of the supercommittee do.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Congress Embraces Bipartisanship - In Shirking Budget Duty

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Disasters used to be one of the things that weren't used as political footballs, but now almost nothing is sacrosanct. This is much like how the filibuster used to be a weapon of last resort, but is now used on a regular basis in the Senate.

-Solomon Kleinsmith, It's A Free Country blogger.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Debt Supercommittee Has a Chance to Correct Years of Bad Policy. Here's How:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shortsighted action on fiscal issues has been standard practice for both the Democratic and Republican parties for over a generation, and it is directly responsible for the fiscal train wreck we're now dealing with.

-Solomon Kleinsmith, It's A Free Country blogger.

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The Takeaway

'Super Committee' Member Xavier Becerra Describes Debt Negotiations

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Six weeks after the Congressional showdown over raising the debt ceiling came to resolution, the 12 member Congressional deficit reduction committee, sometimes referred to as the "super committee" or "super Congress," will have its first meeting today. Federal spending, taxes, and deficit reduction are all on the super committee's agenda as it tries to cut nearly $1.2 trillion from the nation's debt over the next decade. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Process is Political: Branding 'No Labels' with Starbucks

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Political Junkie Calendar: Wednesday with GOP contenders, Thursday with Obama, Tuesday with Starbucks CEO?: The centrist political group No Labels has joined forces with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who's trying to organize corporate executives to withhold campaign contributions "until Washington reaches a fair, bipartisan deal on our country's long-term economic future." This call to join a conference call was helped by full-page ads in the The New York Times on Sunday and in USA Today on Tuesday. This pitch for bipartisanship, of course, will be followed by Republicans and Democrats making their own pitches. Given all the confusion last week, I'll make those details super-clear. The latest GOP debate at the Reagan library on Wednesday at 8pm and televised on NBC. Obama's jobs speech to Congress on Thursday starts at 7pm and will be over by the NFL season kickoff, the White House promises. (No Labels)

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The Takeaway

What is The Congressional 'Super Commitee,' Anyway?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A central feature of the deal Congress reached last week to raise the country's debt limit was the creation of a so-called "Super Committee." Made up of six Republicans and six Democrats, the super committee is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in savings by November 23. But who's serving on the committee and how, exactly, do they propose reaching bipartisan agreement when Congress is seemingly more partisan than ever?

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