And the Supercommittee Fails

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 21 2011 5:25 PM

And the Supercommittee Fails

When Patty Murray and Jeb Hensarling took this job, people told them that it was impossible. Murry and Hensarling proved them right. The supercommittee co-chairpeople have put out this statement, which I will annotate. You're welcome.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Despite our inability to bridge the committee’s significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation’s fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve.
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I don't think the next generation will have to worry. Republicans were confident about punting because they expect to tackle this in January 2013, with total control of Washington.

We remain hopeful that Congress can build on this committee’s work and can find a way to tackle this issue in a way that works for the American people and our economy.

What work? John Kerry hinted at something on Meet the Press yesterday, warning that documents will come out showing how far the supers came to some kind of deal. But unlike Bowles-Simpson, or the Ryan plan, or the House progressives' budget, or even the "Gang of Six" summary, there was no plan for non-super members to analyze.

We are deeply disappointed that we have been unable to come to a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement, but as we approach the uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, we want to express our appreciation to every member of this committee, each of whom came into the process committed to achieving a solution that has eluded many groups before us.

Two things. 1) Other groups -- again, not to flack for them, but Bowles-Simpson did okay -- have approached the issue and not eluded some final plans. 2) There's also a Thanksgiving in Canada.

Most importantly, we want to thank the American people for sharing thoughts and ideas and for providing support and good will as we worked to accomplish this difficult task.

Heck, I mostly just reported on how doomed it was, but I appreciate it.

We would also like to thank our committee staff, in particular Staff Director Mark Prater and Deputy Staff Director Sarah Kuehl, as well as each committee member’s staff for the tremendous work they contributed to this effort. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Douglas Elmendorf and Mr. Thomas Barthold and their teams at the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, respectively, for the technical support they provided to the committee and its members.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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