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The congressional "super committee" is tasked with cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal debt. But a bipartisan group of the region's U.S. House members is asking the panel to cut deeper, even if that means tweaking entitlements or increasing taxes.
Five of the region's lawmakers signed a letter asking the super committee to set $4 trillion in budget cuts as its target. "We need to face this with everything on the table," says Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, who's the second highest-ranking Democrat in the House.
Credit rating agency Standard and Poor's says the credit ratings of Virginia and Maryland depend on the outcome of the special panel. Hoyer and the other local representatives signed a letter with nearly 100 House members asking for the committee to craft a large deficit reduction package, even if that means changes to entitlement programs that many in his party oppose.
"Congress has placed enormous responsibility and power in the committee and has allowed it wide latitude to send us a plan to get Americans on a sustainable fiscal path," Hoyer says.
The letter also asks that additional revenue sources be considered in the private deliberations, a position that's anathema to most of the GOP. The only Republican in the region to cosign the letter is Virginia's Frank Wolf. The others are Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).