Super Committee Democrats blasted a smaller $643 billion deficit-reduction plan offered by Republicans Friday, a rejection that leaves nothing on the table ahead of Monday's deadline. The offer, floated by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, would save $643 billion over 10 years, leaving the committee well short of its $1.2 trillion goal. Though Boehner's staff said it included $229 billion in new revenues, Democrats claim it only generates $3 billion in new revenues by repealing a tax break for corporate jets. Regardless, the smaller deal is not happening and you can feel the bipartisan desperation in the air by the public statements coming out from committee members and their aids. They haven't given up but it sure looks incredibly bleak.
Patty Murray The Democratic Senator and committee co-chair said the GOP deal “does not meet — even come close to coming to meet — the issues we have set out from the beginning: fair and balanced.”
John Kerry In rejecting the GOP proposal, the Senate Democrat and committee member who's often been the most sanguine about reaching a deal said, "To have something on the table that does not ask the wealthiest people in the country to share in it would be unconscionable." He added, “So this is the divide now. We’re still working. I hope we can get there. But I don’t know at this point.”
John Boehner The Republican's spokesman Michael Steel said Republicans put forward "a balanced, bipartisan plan - the fact that it was rejected makes it clear that Washington Democrats won't cut a dime in government spending without job-killing tax hikes."
Jeb Hensarling The Republican Congressman and committee member said the committee will toil away over the weekend to find a deal. "We are painfully aware of the deadline and it is staring us in the face," he said to reporters.
James Clyburn Providing a window in how frustrating the process is, the Democratic Congressman and committee member asked The Hill “Do we look stupid? I mean, I don’t know, maybe we do. I certainly am not stupid.”
Democratic aides A senior Democratic aide tells Reuters "The two sides are nowhere near an agreement." At the same time, a House Democratic leadership aide says, "talks were continuing on ideas other than Boehner's plan."
Republican aides An aide tells The Hill it was a decent compromise. “This package represented a good-faith offer that excluded all of the reforms to entitlement programs that Democrats have expressed concern over. The proposal did not touch Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security."