Memo: Setting the Record Straight on the Supercommittee

To: Those Interested In Facts 
Fr: Democratic Leader’s Press Office
Dt: November 21, 2011
Re: Setting the Record Straight on the Supercommittee – Democrats Supported Big, Bold, Balanced Plan; GOP Supported Grover Norquist’s ‘Protect the One Percent’ Pledge  

Over and over again, Americans called for a balanced plan from the Supercommittee:  

CNN/ORC Poll – 67 percent of Americans – including 69 percent of independents – believe increased taxes on high-income Americans and businesses should be included in a deficit reduction proposal from the Supercommittee. [11/21]   

McClatchy/Marist Poll – 67 percent of voters – including 53 percent of Republican voters – want to see tax increases on the wealthiest Americans included in the debt reduction package. [11/18]  

Democrats answered that call—consistently stating that we supported a big, bold and balanced plan to reduce the deficit and grow the economy, which included tough choices…while Republicans continued to insist on extending Bush tax cuts for people making more than a million dollars a year, ending the Medicare guarantee and refusing to offer a jobs agenda. 

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:

“As I have said over and over again, we want a plan that is big, bold and balanced.”  [Press Conference, 11/3]

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer:

“We want the Joint Select Committee to send us a deal that is big,” Hoyer said at Wednesday press conference. “We have the greatest chance we’ve seen in a generation to strike a bold agreement that will… spur economic recovery.” [Talk Radio News Service, 11/16]

Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn:

“We can tackle anything we want to," Clyburn said. "We believe that everything must be on the table to come up with a big, bold and balanced program.” [Times and Democrat, 11/13]

Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson:

“Our Members still remain hopeful, even as the clock winds down, that they will be able to get something that is big, bold and balanced for the American people.  And what they mean by big and bold and balanced is putting America back to work.”  [Press Availability, 11/18]   

Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra:

“We can get it done in ways that are not just $1.2 trillion worth of savings. We could make it big,” Becerra said. “Big and bold.” [Bloomberg, 11/14]

Congressman Chris Van Hollen

“…It’s very important that we continue this conversation so that we really can achieve a balanced approach to the deficit and a plan that does something for jobs.” [NPR, 11/17]

And as for the GOP… 

While Speaker Boehner called the Republican Supercommittee plan a “fair offer,” the New York Times says:

…Republicans have offered an approach that would raise revenues by $300 billion and cut spending by $1.2 trillion…But the proposal is highly deceptive — the main goal seems to ensure even deeper tax cuts for the wealthy — and demonstrates why the committee seems headed toward a deadlock. [New York Times, 11/15]  

Republican Leader Eric Cantor:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday sided with conservative activist Grover Norquist in a dispute over his anti-tax pledge, saying lawmakers should keep their word to their constituents if they promised to oppose tax increases. [The Hill, 11/14]  

Joint Committee Republican Co-Chair Jeb Hensarling:

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), a co-chair of the congressional supercommittee tasked with crafting a $1.5 trillion deficit reduction package, suggested that he would reject “any penny” of further tax increases in the deal currently being negotiated. [ThinkProgress, 11/16]  

Grover Norquist, that “random person”:

Grover Norquist, a leading anti-tax activist, says Republican leaders in both chambers have assured him that they will not agree to tax increases to reduce the deficit.  “…I’ve talked to the House leadership and the Senate leadership. They’re not going to be passing any tax increases,” Norquist told The Hill on Monday. [The Hill, 11/15]

In an interview, Norquist said that Republicans have no intention of raising taxes, and that their decision to show “a little ankle” on taxes in their latest offer was merely a ploy to prove that Democrats would not endorse structural changes to Medicare and Medicaid.  Norquist acknowledged that the GOP tax plan is “problematic,” however, and said he would have pushed Republicans to rescind the offer if Democrats had accepted it. [The Washington Post, 11/16]  

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