Skip to comments.Dem angst increases over supercommitee's secretive process
Posted on 11/09/2011 4:53:31 AM PST by Libloather
Dem angst increases over supercommitee's secretive process
By Mike Lillis - 11/09/11 05:00 AM ET
A growing number of Democrats are hammering the supercommittee process as both anti-democratic and lacking transparency.
Some of the lawmakers are wary that just 12 members would speak on behalf of the entire Congress, while others are critical that, just weeks before the panels deadline, the deliberations remain a black box to all but a few insiders.
This whole idea of a supercommittee is kind of a bad idea, Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.) told C-SPANs Washington Journal this month.
This is not an open, transparent process, he said. This is not a deliberative process.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said the panel has been put in the impossible situation of coming up with trillions of dollars in budget cuts in a short span of time. He decried the notion that somehow in 10 weeks, were going to solve problems that have been decades in the making.
I didnt believe in the parameters of the deal in the first place, Blumenauer said. This sequestering thats going to take place? Raise your hand if you really think that these massive cuts in defense are going to be triggered automatically. Its one of those things that takes a full decade [to do]. Youre not going to do it through the automatic sequestration, and itll be undercut.
The budget supercommittee was created as a part of the law, passed over the summer, to hike the nations debt ceiling. The panel is charged with reducing deficit spending by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade, or automatic cuts of that level, split evenly between defense and domestic programs, will kick in the sequestration process Blumenauer referenced.
The panels deadline is Nov. 23, and Congress has until Dec. 23 to act on the recommendations.
Senate Democrats also have a dim view of the panel.
Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the messaging guru for Senate Democrats, on Monday predicted the supercommittee would fail because of GOP opposition to including any tax increases in a deal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in September said hed heard so many negative comments about the panel that he wondered whether it had been a bad decision to set it up. Reid did say he felt reassured after Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) were named to the panel.
In developing the framework that guides the supercommittee, lawmakers tacitly acknowledged that Congress, given current levels of partisan polarization, likely couldnt locate the political will to make tough budget choices through normal legislative channels.
McGovern put some of the blame for the supercommittee process on the White House, arguing that President Obama should have been more aggressive during the debt-ceiling debate. A number of liberal Democrats had urged the president to hike the debt limit unilaterally by invoking the 14th Amendment a route McGovern said he would have taken.
I wouldnt have allowed our country to be held hostage to this kind of a process, which is not open, McGovern said.
We have no idea what the supercommittee is going to come up with, and yet you have people who are on various committees that have expertise in certain areas who, if this were under an open, deliberative process, would have legislation work its way through committees.
Some committee chairmen agree. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, suggested recently that the panels failure would be preferable, as it would lend committee heads like himself greater sway over the cuts under sequestration.
We can maneuver those [automatic cuts] around, and quite frankly, that might be the better path to take, Harkin said last month on C-SPANs Newsmakers.
I dont have any fear of moving ahead without the supercommittee involvement, he added. In fact, in some ways I think we might be better off if we didnt have something from the supercommittee and moved ahead through the normal legislative process.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has also faulted the supercommittee, warning that the closed-door nature of the deliberations threatens to undermine any proposal that ultimately emerges.
It cannot be a product of secrecy, Pelosi said late last month. They may want to narrow issues that will be made
but that has to be done in a public way.
In order for our members to embrace this, they have to know more about it and know why it has come to the place that it has.
Kinda like Commiecare? (Check out what Pelosi said.)
Yes, we know it's anti-democratic and lacking transparency. But why are Democrats suddenly opposing that?
I guess they should have thought about that before they voted for McConnell's "get around the TEA Party" scheme.
Hey Dems, you are the ones who thought it up, voted for it and implemented it. Methinks this is just the first step to trying to eliminate the process all togeather. This was their idea all along, use the idea to get the debt ceiling raised and then later scuttle the whole super committee for the reason’s they are now spouting. Same old same old. Just like they promise spending cuts for tax increases but only the tax increases ever happen. They are liars.
I had to look twice at the source to be sure this wasn’t satire. I mean, libs complaining about lack of transparency?
The number ten can being kicked down the road is filled with concrete
Toes are being stubbed
Bla-Bla-Bla, You got a split congress and split country. In fact Democrats cant even agree with each other. The Senate cant even pass any budget themselves.
Then you got the phony trigger, the deadline is this year, it triggers cuts in 2013. It's a joke. These losers will have a vote or two on spending before then.
I notice Obama in his 2012 campaign jobs tour is saying it's a Republican congress trying to convince voters that Boehner runs the Senate too.
And “ Obamacare “ was open ?
Ironic, eh ?
They are terrified they might be asked to vote on cutting something, threatened with the phony trigger.
Reid did say he felt reassured after Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) were named to the panel.
That right there should show you how smart Harry Reid is.
When these 3 were named I knew the Super-Committee was Bull S**t. A commie, a Traitor, and an idiot.
Ahh, they don’t like being sacrifices. Just like those fools who vote for communists are going to feel; when it dawns on them they lose everything.
If they feel they have to vote NO against the recommendations ( because of some cuts in it ) then they will have to fess up to their voters that the trigger was a meaningless scam, meaning that the supercommittee is irrelevent, and that the whole deficit deal that Obama+Boehner cooked up BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was much to do about nothing.
This is not an open, transparent process, he said. This is not a deliberative process”
Its not constitutional either. But I’m sure the Dems are not worried about that and why should they be? My own GOP rep isn’t worried about it either.
It WAS a scam, and all it cost Obama was a fifth of Jack Daniels.
I remember a few ‘everything congress does is unconstitutional’ whiners moved in to claim that the super-committee was ‘unconstitutional’
I easily pointed out that it was constitutional because it was irrelevant and meaningless. Congress can still spend anything they want no matter what the committee does, just like before. It's just a show for the gullable.
” It’s just a show for the gullable. “
Add SUPER- to that : )
It took the lawyers of Judicial Watch almost two years to pry open White House records on the matter of who visited the president and his advisers in the first seven months of Obama’s administration.
Two years into its pledge to improve government transparency, the Obama administration handled fewer requests for federal records from citizens, journalists, companies and others last year even as significantly more people asked for information.
Looks like the Dems cut out per breaking news stories starting to emerge. Pentagon, get ready to really be gutted now.
I wouldnt count on anything happening. Did you see something of interest related online?