Bipartisan plea for $4 trillion in deficit cuts: why it could work
A bipartisan group of 100 House members will call for the deficit 'super committee' to make massive deficit cuts – even if it means entitlement or tax reform. The strong backing could be key.
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The window to sign the new House letter shuts on Nov. 1, and the letter is to be released the following day.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Who's who on the US deficit super committee
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Speaker Boehner has not yet taken a position on the letter. But GOP leaders in this group are close to the Speaker and consulted with him on whether this approach would "undermine any effort" of his.
"He said no," says LaTourette. "While he didn't endorse it, he said it would be helpful."
At a press briefing on Thursday, Boehner said: “When I see news reports of some of what was put in the table, Democrats are calling for $1.3 trillion worth of tax increases. This is the same number that was in the president’s  budget,” which failed to win a single vote in the Senate. “It’s not a reasonable number.”
Pressed on whether Republicans would cave on their pledge to not increase taxes, Boehner said: “I expect it’s going to be very difficult to get to an outcome, but I am committed to getting to an outcome.”
“It’s about time for us to see this super committee narrow its possibilities and reach agreement,” said House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D) of California, in a briefing on Thursday. She called for a result that is “big, and bold, and balanced,” which means that tax hikes should be part of the package.
“We have told our members there are no sacred cows at the table,” she added. “We want results.”
Freshman Rep. Bobby Schilling (R) of Illinois has seen the bipartisan letter but has not signed it. He says he is wary of the concept of “everything on the table,” because he says it might include tax hikes for small business.
“So far, this administration can’t come up with a solution other than regulating and taxing business out of America,” he says.
But he’s also concerned about reports that a failure to make robust cuts could lead to another downgrade of US debt. “Some folks are talking about that we’re going to get another downgrade, we have to take a look at some options here,” he says. “The American people are sick and tired of what’s going on here.
Freshman Rep. Mike Kelly (R) of Pennsylvania, who did sign the letter, says that he favors increasing tax revenue, but not rates. “I don’t mind looking at the tax code,” he says. “It picks winners and losers. It’s supposed to be a level playing field.”
After a lifetime in the car business, Congressman Kelly says he’s not worried about criticism from his own party ranks that could cost him reelection. “You can get too caught up in just getting back here,” he says.
But she’s still considering it. “Anything bipartisan is going to give the [deficit] committee strength and backbone.”
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