Super Committee Busy Pointing Fingers
Legislators play the blame game, say there's still time
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2011 12:28 PM CST
Sen. John Kerry, member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, often called the super committee, on Capitol Hill, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – With the super committee's deadline now a matter of mere hours away and reports of the committee's demise rampant, members of the panel took to the talk show airwaves today, with Democrats blaming Republicans, Republicans blaming Democrats, and some managing to sound hopeful for half a second, reports Politico. Without further ado:

  • John Kerry, D-Mass.: "We could have a deal in the next two hours." Problem? "One, the calculation politically has been made by (the GOP) that they're going to win the Senate, win the presidency, and they want to wait until next year and just write their own deal. And the second, and most significant block to our doing something right now, is their insistence, insistence, insistence on the Grover Norquist pledge and extending the Bush tax cuts."

  • Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.: "The only real breakthrough here was the Republican offer to actually increase the amount of revenue through the Tax Code that would largely fall on the upper two brackets."
  • Patty Murray, D-Wash.: "As long as we have some Republican lawmakers who feel more enthralled with a pledge they took to (Grover Norquist) than they do to a pledge to the country to solve problems, this is going to be hard to do." Still, “I’ll be waiting all day… willing to talk to any Republican who says, ‘Look, my country is more important.' "
  • Pat Toomey, R-Pa.: "Time is short now. The silver lining is that we're going to get the spending cuts anyways. That was designed into the bill that created the committee in the first place."
  • Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.: "I believe there's a deal out there. I believe there's a better deal than letting automatic cuts." On entitlement cuts: "Every plan that Democrats have put forward has included cuts to entitlement programs. Some deeper, the bigger the deal. Some smaller."