Alliances Form Among Super Committee Members
Reuters reports that three Republicans and three Democrats are joining together in an effort to develop the framework of a deal themselves. Meanwhile, an outside organization — the AFL-CIO — is launching a campaign to defeat any Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security cuts the panel may ultimately propose. And, according to Politico, Social Security is in play as the panel's deliberations continue.
Reuters: Exclusive: Group Forms Inside Debt Panel In Quest For Deal
Six members of a congressional "super committee" have struck out on their own in a new effort to come up with a plan to slash America's huge deficits before a November 23 deadline. The three Republicans and three Democrats are looking at a deficit-reduction deal of between $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion, congressional aides told Reuters on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks (Reid, Younglai and Ferraro, 11/1).
CQ HealthBeat: AFL-CIO Pledges Campaign To Stop Cuts To Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters Monday that "we will run the campaign necessary" to defeat any Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security reductions proposed by joint deficit reduction panel. But he stopped short of saying the labor group won't endorse members of Congress who vote for such cuts. Trumka did say in the telephone briefing that opposition to potential cuts would be among the factors considered when it comes to making endorsements in the 2012 elections. Trumka said he "would have a tough time envisioning us endorsing people who actually voted for major cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. That would have a dampening effect on any candidate even if they were endorsed," he added (Reichard, 10/31).
Politico: Social Security Appears On Deficit Panel Agenda
If the committee were to take up changes to Social Security, it could show that Congress is looking for systemic changes to the nation's finances — something markets and credit rating agencies want to see. It may not help the committee get to $1.2 trillion, but Democrats are all but certain to insist that Boehner commit to serious changes on taxes alongside such entitlement restructuring. One Social Security change being floated is a change to the consumer price index, which has been considered in the course of other spending debates over the past year (Sherman and Raju, 10/31).