CQ Roll Call: Signs Of Compromise On Super Committee? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

CQ Roll Call: Signs Of Compromise On Super Committee?

Play associated audio

Capitol Hill was once again dominated this week by speculation about a deficit-reduction deal coming out of the so-called super committee. David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, talked with WAMU Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey about how close committee members are to reaching an agreement. 

Signs of compromise?

The committee, which is charged with cutting at least 1.2 trillion out of the federal deficit, met publicly for the first time in more than a month Wednesday, and although lawmakers still seemed pretty far apart, Hawkings says he saw some signs of progress. "I saw signs yesterday in separate news conferences with both House Speaker John Boehner and minority leader Nancy Pelosi, that suggested they are at least willing to give it the old college try, says Hawkings. 

For example, Boehner did not dismiss new tax revenue out of hand, and Pelosi "did not reject out of hand that there should be some limit in social security and Medicare benefits," Hawkings says.

Still, the question now really goes to whether the super committee will be able to find deficit cuts of closer to $3 trillion or more, says Hawkings, as this is what economists have said will need to happen to solve the deficit problem in the long term.  

"If you're betting on this, probably still the solid betting odds is that in the end, the super committee will not be able to reach a deal that goes beyond the $1.2 trillion floor," says Hawkings. 

McCain: 'We can reverse' automatic cuts

Not to give the impression that things are going too smoothly, however, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, ramped up the rhetoric on the super committee's work this week. He told reporters that he would not hesitate to reverse the entire deficit reduction bill to avoid the hefty automatic cuts to the defense program that would take effect if there was no deal.

We will be amongst the first on the floor to nullify this provision," McCain said. "Congress is not bound by this. It's something we passed; we can reverse it."

There are many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle that would likely not support changes to the original law, however, says Hawkings. Because the automatic cuts wouldn't go into effect until 2013, there would be time for Congress to try to tweak those cuts. "If the super committee comes to nothing this fall, they could theoretically wait until after the next election to vote on this," says Hawkings. "But I would think by then, the political pressure would be enormous to have some budget cutting." 

 

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 22

Forget a white Christmas. This week, you can see an art exhibit and musical that explode with color.

WAMU 88.5

Where Are All The Deer? Hunters For The Hungry Report 17-Year Low In Donations

A Virginia organization that connects hunters in the commonwealth with local organizations that serve the hungry reports a major shortage in venison donated this year.

WAMU 88.5

Gray Expected To Wrap Up Tenure As Mayor By Signing Pair Of Bills

The term for Mayor Vincent Gray wraps up Jan. 2, and he's expected to sign some legislation into law before his time is up.

NPR

The 5 Business Stories That Made 2014 A Memorable Year

From hack attacks to the bottom falling out of oil, 2014 has been a year of big swings at the top and stagnation at the bottom.

Leave a Comment

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