President Barack Obama states, “They [Democrats and Republicans] can still come together around a balanced plan”. If, however, a compromise can not be reached, “the sequester kicks in and these automatic spending cuts will occur that bring in an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction”.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta voiced his concerns for military families now facing benefit cuts, stating “...[these] additional cuts demanded by sequester would lead to a hollow force incapable of sustaining the missions it is assigned. If implemented, sequester would also jeopardize our ability to provide our troops and their families with the benefits and the support they have been promised. Our troops deserve better, and our nation demands better."
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) states that while “[t]his process did not end in the desired outcome... it did bring our enormous fiscal challenges into greater focus.” He remains confident that “the work done by this committee will play a role in the solution we must eventually find as a nation.”
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) states that while Democrats “repeatedly supported a big, bold, and balanced plan to reduce our deficit and grow our economy”, Republicans “insisted on extending the Bush tax cuts for people making more than a million dollars a year and repealing the Medicare guarantee -- while refusing to accept a jobs proposal.” Ultimately, she argues that “[b]y rejecting a balanced approach, Republicans chose to keep their pledge to Grover Norquist to protect the wealthiest one percent.”
Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), co-chairman of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, stated that “[u]ltimately, the committee did not succeed because we could not bridge the gap between two dramatically competing visions of the role government should play in a free society, the proper purpose and design of the social safety net, and the fundamentals of job creation and economic growth.” He explains that despite multiple attempts by Republicans to decrease spending in a number of areas, “The Democrats said no."
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Hensarling collectively state that "[D]espite our inability to bridge the committee's significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation's fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve.”
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) states that accountability and mandatory decision making, or lack thereof, are responsible for the deficit predicament America is currently facing. He states, “[P]rogress must, and will, be achieved. But the kind of deep, systemic, and far-reaching solutions that are ultimately needed won't be achieved with an 11th hour deal or secret meeting. It will require the full and vigorous participation of the public, the Congress, and the president. It will require a sometimes messy, public, democratic process. And it will require senators and congressmen to cast many public votes and to be held accountable by the American people."
Senator Lisa Murkowski (D-AK) states that “we passed the blame game exit miles ago. Americans don't care about whose fault it is; they just expect us to fix it, and put our country on a sustainable course.”
Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) voiced his concerns over the failure of the Supercommittee with specific regards to his Maryland constituents.
Representative Christopher Van Hollen (D-MD) argues that while “Blaming both sides equally will be the simple storyline and the path of least resistance”...“It would ignore everyone's responsibility to seek the facts and the truth.” View now Van Hollen's full speech.
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) argues that, “No one likes sacrifice, but we are in this together...“a majority of Americans are willing to do their part if the sacrifice is shared, balanced and will put our country on better footing for the future.”
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