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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:02 AM

Dems skirmish over Reid’s sequester plan

A large group of liberal Democrats are pushing back against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to replace the sequester with an even balance of spending cuts and tax revenues.
They want the package to raise substantially more through taxes and cut less in spending.
Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, has sided with President Obama in supporting a 50-50 split of spending cuts and tax revenues to stop the $85 billion sequester due to take effect March 1.

However, a significant portion of Reid’s caucus argues the split should be 80-20, with tax increases making up the bulk of the package. They contend Reid and Obama are negotiating with themselves by agreeing upfront to a 1-1 ratio of tax increases and spending cuts.
A group of 15 to 20 progressive Democrats met Monday evening to discuss its concerns over the 1-1 ratio supported by Reid and Obama, according to lawmakers who were in attendance.
Senate Democratic leaders, prodded on by the White House, are attempting to put pressure on the GOP-led House by passing a sequester measure.
Reid is unlikely to pivot to an 80-20 breakdown, which would be unpopular among Democrats from Republican-leaning states who are up for reelection next year.
Liberal senators fear the ratio would become tilted more heavily toward spending cuts when and if Reid negotiates with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) to move the proposal through the Senate.
Should a deal move through the upper chamber, subsequent talks with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would likely push the ratio even further in the direction of spending cuts before it reaches Obama’s desk.
Senate liberals say this outcome would be unfair because, by their calculation, Congress has already enacted $1.7 trillion in spending cuts compared to collecting only $700 billion in new taxes. The members claim the total amount of deficit reduction, including proposals passed in the last Congress, should raise a dollar in taxes for every dollar it cuts in spending.
“In order for the whole thing to tally out at one for one, we need to raise about $1.3 trillion in revenue and little over $300 billion in cuts,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).
Harkin said if the sequester package is evenly divided between tax revenues and spending cuts, “it means we’re going to have a lot more cuts than revenue, and that’s not right, not fair.”
But Reid has shown little sign of bending to the pressure. He told reporters this week the package being drafted to replace the sequester “will include equal amounts of revenue and cuts.”
Reid must protect six vulnerable Senate colleagues who are running for reelection in 2014 in states carried by Mitt Romney.
Centrist incumbents such as Sens. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) are reluctant to support any package to address sequester that leans disproportionately on closing tax loopholes.
Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, has warned against rushing to reform the tax code to find a way to stop the automatic spending cuts without adding to the deficit.
Senators in favor of the 80-20 split maintain there is strong public support for closing an array of special tax breaks. They have zeroed in on offshore tax shelters and tax incentives for companies that move their manufacturing facilities overseas.
“We’re looking at this terrific list of loophole closings, and it wouldn’t hurt anybody,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said.
She said the focus should be on ending niche tax breaks, not cutting more from government programs.
“We’ve already had huge spending cuts. Huge,” she said.
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Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/283051-democrats-skirmish-over-sequester#ixzz2KsxrgbYo
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Reply Dems skirmish over Reid’s sequester plan (Original post)
octoberlib Feb 2013 OP
still_one Feb 2013 #1
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #2
LiberalFighter Feb 2013 #3
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #4

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:08 AM

1. screw reid, and also the democrats who voted against reforming the filibuster. For the next two

years it is a lame duck congress at best, assuming the democrats do not cave in and join repukes in cutting social security and medicare.

I wonder what these idiots will say when the repukes filibuster obama's supreme court nominees

screw them all


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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:09 AM

2. We need to see Congress take a cut in pay

so we all can feel the pain ...............

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:26 PM

3. Reid and Obama really don't know how to negotiate properly.

Their method of negotiating is not negotiating. It's trying to work out details. That only works when the other side is reasonable and the details are minor.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:46 PM

4. What do you wanna bet that it contains chained cpi for social security?

Reid in the Senate and Pelosi in the House are on board with that as we know from the last time this came up. The caucus is right - they gave away too much too early.

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