Super committee rests in pieces: A briefing page

The deficit super committee failed. What do you need to know about the super committee deficit cutting effort? Check out DCDecoder's briefing.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Congress’ debt-cutting super committee (l. to r.): Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, co-chair, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., co-chair, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. From left on top row are Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

The super committee is dead. But long live the supercommittee in our round up of what you need to know about Washington’s latest gambit that, it turns out, wasn’t. 

Documents and Talking Points:

What do you need to know?

  • Marc Ambinder looks at why Obama didn’t get involved, writing that “[h]aving allowed Congress to fail on its own, Obama is not about to take the reins of a process that could further erode voter confidence in him.”
  • Why didn’t Obama get in the thick of things? One answer might be that the failure of the supercommittee, the New York Times writes, “has inverted the normal reality, in which spending rises inexorably unless Congress musters the political will to impose cuts. Now, although both parties say they are committed to more gradual approaches, an agreement is required to avoid the fiscal equivalent of shock therapy.”

  • The Wall Street Journal’s Gerry Seib wondersIs there any political price to be paid for failure?
    • Decoder would like to know: Wasn’t it Congress that couldn’t get this put together? Why all this talk about what Obama should or shouldn’t do? We get the point about the President steering the conversation, but, really? Aren’t the people on Capitol Hill adults (and elected ones, at that) too? Tell us where we’re wrong.

    The GOP presidential candidates react:

    Partisan reaction:

    • From the left: Daily Kos asks if the military was crippled in 2007, when the Pentagon’s budget was the same size as it could be under the automatic defense cuts.
    • From the right: Power Line writes that the supercommitte’s failure may be just as well “because the whole approach of trying to solve our country’s deep-seated fiscal problems with a closed-door, back-room deal is fundamentally wrong.”
    • From journalists: They’ve come to rip the supercommittee, not to praise it.

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