Super fail results in automatic cuts to defense programs to reduce the deficit
November 22, 2011 § Leave a Comment
After a last ditch effort Monday by the joint Congressional supercommittee, elected to solve the debt deficit, the committee’s co-chairs declared defeat, meaning automatic across-the-board cuts to domestic and defense programs.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a joint statement, “After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline,” according to the New York Times.
According to many reports and the joint statement, the failure was not due to bipartisan differenece but rather “a politically unpalatable mix of distrust, divided motives and the partisan toxicity in Washington,” according to POLITICO.
“Its demise was widely lamented as a “missed opportunity” by lawmakers in both parties, but there were clear signs from the very start that it was going to be enormously difficult to find the “sweet spot” for a mega budget deal.” – POLITICO
One of the major problems facing the committee was a lack on consistency with meeting times and attendance. According to reports, the committee had not met in weeks and the 12-member committee soon dwindled to a smaller and smaller group as the weeks went on.
After surrendering to defeat, some Republicans worked to shape the failure as a lack of leadership on President Obama’s behalf. Meanwhile the White House framed the failure as a responsibility of Congress, not the White House.
Due to the committee’s failure to reach a deal by the President’s deadline, the Pentagon is now facing massive across-the-board cuts. Congressional members in favor of the Department of Defense are begging Obama to revisit the decision to make cuts to the military. However, due to the failure of the supercommittee, Obama said that he will go forward with the automatic $1 trillion in cuts, half to domestic programs and half to the military.
“There will be no easy off-ramps on this one. We need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure,” Obama said according to the Washington Post. “The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees to a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.”
Members of the Senate are vowing to do everything they can to overturn these cuts. Sen. John McCain (R- Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), both members of the Senate Armed Services committee said in a joint statement, ““As every military and civilian defense official has stated, these cuts represent a threat to the national security interests of the United States, and cannot be allowed to occur.”