President Obama made it official, announcing to the country that the supercommittee had failed to reach an agreement.
Democratic Congressman Gene Green of Houston gives his take on what happened.
“There is hope, but we do have a lot of partisan differences and in Washington sometimes we talk past each other instead of talking to each other, and that’s our problem. We need to start talking to each other and the supercommittee was designed to do that. It was so evenly divided, they needed to talk to each other. But if they can’t come up with something, how do you expect a very partisan Senate and a very partisan House, controlled by different parties to come up with something.”
Republican Congressman Kevin Brady from the Woodlands says taxes continued to be a big issue.
“I think at the end of the day, Democrats insisted on at least a trillion dollars of higher taxes and just refused to touch some solutions on for our entitlement programs. I think at the end of the day that sunk the agreement.”
Before the committee began meeting, it as agreed that if the group could not reach an agreement a series of across the board cuts would be implemented. Both Green and Brady say it appears that’s where we’re headed.
“That’s why we have the fallback position is that if this committee doesn’t come up with something — or the House or Senate or the president — doesn’t agree with what they come up with, then we go into some automatic cuts that will take effect starting next year.”
“The automatic cuts will start in 2013, and over the next decade it’s about an eight percent reduction for most government programs. Ten percent for defense and two percent reduction for some of the Medicare providers like some of our local hospitals, nursing homes and hospice care.”
Congressman Brady believes a ten percent cut to the military is too large, but he says if that’s what has to happen to get the $1.2 trillion deficit reduction then so be it.