Bipartisan Group Asks Debt Panel To Consider Deficit-Cutting Options
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers sent a letter to the debt panel, urging its members to consider all options for cutting entitlements and raising revenue as part of a deficit-reduction deal, the AP/Washington Post reports.
The group was comprised of 60 House Democrats and 40 House Republicans. The Republicans seemingly separated from their party, which has pledged only to consider new revenue resulting from economic growth (Fram, AP/Washington Post, 11/2).
Some of the GOP signatories previously had signed a pledge that they would not support a net tax increase. The Republicans who signed the debt panel letter said they are not endorsing a net tax increase and instead are open to rewriting the tax code to close loopholes and lower rates.
Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) said the letter is meant to signal that Republican leaders now are willing to work with Democrats on a budget plan that addresses both revenue and entitlements.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), a member of the Republican Study Group, said the coalition wants the panel to create a deficit plan "so big, so comprehensive, so inclusive that any great statesman or stateswoman could hardly resist voting for it" (Helderman/Montgomery, Washington Post, 11/2).
Debt Panel Could Seek Extension
As doubts grow about whether the panel can develop a debt plan by the Nov. 23 deadline, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday said that committee members could ask Congress for an extension, the New York Times reports. However, Hoyer noted that the committee cannot unilaterally extend the deadline itself (Pear, New York Times, 11/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.