U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today released the following statement in reaction to the reported failure of the Super Committee to reach an agreement on reducing the national debt.
"I'm disappointed to hear that the so-called Super Committee failed to reach an agreement on a balanced pathway to reduce our long term deficit," said Rep. Pascrell, Jr. a member of the Committee on Ways and Means and House Budget Committee. "I supported the Super Committee's creation after Speaker Boehner rejected President Obama's $4 trillion deficit reduction proposal. The hope was it would find consensus without the toxic political environment that surrounded the debate over raising the debt ceiling. Democrats offered spending cuts with an expectation that the wealthy would pay more of their fair share of taxes. Republicans refused to entertain any proposal that would make the wealthiest Americans pay one more dime in taxes. That's what ultimately led to the Super Committee's failure.
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction was created this past summer as a part of the deal to raise our debt ceiling. It was charged with finding a method to reduce the Federal government's long term debt by $1.2 trillion. The committee has been holding public and private hearings in order to bridge the partisan divide since late September, and they were supposed to release a plan on November 23rd. According to the Budget Control Act, which created the Supper Committee, Congress' failure to pass a plan to reduce the long term debt will result in the automatic sequestration of $1.2 trillion equally split between security and non-security programs, starting in 2013. This is in addition to the $917 billion in deficit reduction that was included in the Budget Control Act.
"So far this year we have already cut over $917 billion. From the start, the Super Committee should have built on these cuts and gone big by exceeding their $1.2 trillion mandate. It also should have moved legislation focused on economic growth and job creation," said Pascrell, an original sponsor of H.R.2835 Joint Select Committee on Job Creation Act of 2011, which created a mechanism to allow the Super Committee to consider job creating ideas. "Unfortunately, partisan politics would not allow this to happen. Now the ball is back in Congress' court. We must move away from ridged ideology and pass legislation to spur economic growth and reduce our debt and deficits."