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Local Lawmakers Want More From Super Committee

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The deadline for the super committee's deficit reduction bill is looming, and now local lawmakers are pressuring them for more.
Patrick Madden
The deadline for the super committee's deficit reduction bill is looming, and now local lawmakers are pressuring them for more.

Some of the region's lawmakers are trying to pressure the super committee to exceed its goal of cutting $1.2 trillion from the debt, but the special panel remains gridlocked as it nears an end date.

If the super committee fails to reach a bipartisan agreement by next Wednesday, deep spending cuts are supposed to slice through the entire federal budget, which could hit the D.C. region especially hard. Some lawmakers want to scrap that agreement to protect the Pentagon's budget and other favorite spending items.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) says Congress needs to step up and pass a broad deficit-reducing package. He says it's foolish to walk back the earlier bi-partisan agreement that includes automatic spending cuts.

"Failure can't be an option," says Warner. "The whole rest of the world is watching and the notion of what's happening in Europe and their lack of stepping up, we can't have a repeat of that here."

As of now the committee can't even agree on how to cut $1 trillion from the debt. Warner and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) are urging the panel to cut around $4 trillion over the next decade.

"We have the greatest chance we've seen in a generation to strike a bold agreement that will move us forward on a sustainable fiscal path and spur economic recovery," says Hoyer.

If the super committee fails, Virginia and Maryland risk downgrades to their bond ratings, which would make it more expensive for the region to borrow money for capital improvement projects.

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