WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Super Committee Making Progress

Play associated audio
Rep. Chris Van Hollen says the super committee needs to focus on moving the economy, but despite that, the panel is making progress.
Matt Laslo
Rep. Chris Van Hollen says the super committee needs to focus on moving the economy, but despite that, the panel is making progress.

After joining the deficit reducing super committee for its third public hearing, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) says the exclusive panel he's a part of is making progress. Republicans are calling for steep budget cuts and still want to avoid tax increases. But Van Hollen says the super committee can't just focus on slashing programs. He says the committee needs to find a way to get the economy moving again.

"Even though we've prevented things from getting a lot worse more quickly, clearly we have a long way to go," says Van Hollen.

He says one of the most effective ways to immediately boost consumer demand is to extend unemployment benefits and the current payroll tax holiday - both expenditures are getting a cool response from the GOP. If the committee can't reach an agreement, more than a trillion dollars gets indiscriminately cut from nearly every budget item. Van Hollen says he's hoping that threat will drive the two sides together.

"I think people got a good understanding of what it would mean if the sword of Damocles came down, and would negatively impact a lot of important investments," he says. "So it sort of framed the choices."

Experts say if the super committee fails, the region's contractors, businesses and local governments could face steep revenue declines.

NPR

Trump Off Camera: The Man Behind The 'In-Your-Face Provocateur'

Biographer Marc Fisher says Donald Trump has lived a "strikingly solitary life given how public he is." Fisher and his Washington Post colleague Michael Kranish are the authors of Trump Revealed.
NPR

Soda Tax Drives Down Sales In Berkeley, Calif.

According to interviews conducted before and after Berkeley imposed a tax on sugary drinks, the tax is having the desired effect. People reported drinking 20 percent fewer sugar-sweetened drinks after the tax went into effect.
NPR

Clinton Foundation To Shrink Considerably If Hillary Clinton Is Elected

The Foundation would give up its most recognizable parts, including its major global health and wellness programs.
WAMU 88.5

Why We Open Our Hearts And Wallets For Some Disasters—But Not Others

Flooding in Louisiana has caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage and untold personal misery. But public response has been slow. Join us to talk about why we open our hearts and wallets for some disasters and not others.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.