Democrats Leak $2.3 Trillion Proposal
Super committee Democrats struck back at Republicans today by releasing further details of a lightly reported deficit reduction proposal that the Democrats pitched in a small, hours-long negotiating session Monday night.
The plan would be worth $2.3 trillion in savings over 10 years, with $1 trillion in revenues, $1 trillion in cuts and $300 billion in interest — a $700 billion reduction overall from the Democrats’ first offer.
Republicans on the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction leaked their own proposal Tuesday. That plan is worth $1.2 trillion over 10 years and made up of $500 billion in revenues and $700 billion in cuts.
The panel appears to have reached a deep impasse just two weeks from its deadline to produce $1.2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years, and the dueling proposals are part of the parties’ fight to demonstrate that they are still working toward a deal. Moreover, lawmakers have have little wiggle room in their negotiations to reach a deal that won’t alienate their caucuses.
Democrats described their plan in a one-page internal policy memo that was obtained by Roll Call. It reveals that $350 billion of the $1 trillion in revenues would come from a down payment composed of “miscellaneous revenue provisions.” The other $650 billion would come from either “fast track procedures” for tax reform or, if that fails, a “trigger” scenario.
Germane committees would be instructed to author policy generating the $650 billion in revenue, and they would need to include corporate tax reform, an individual rate of no higher than 35 percent and a progressive tax code. If the tax legislation specified is not enacted by January 2013, it would trigger a limitation on itemized deductions for $325 billion in savings and charges on income tax for the other $325 billion.
The Democratic plan also included $350 billion in Medicare savings, including $100 billion from beneficiaries, and $50 billion in Medicaid cuts.
Super committee members had been tight-lipped during the months-long negotiating process, but they have found their voices since the plans were leaked. Democrats panned the Republican framework Tuesday and continued to criticize it today, while Republicans scoffed at the idea that Democrats would disclose their offer made Monday. Both Democrats and Republicans said today that they were waiting for the other side to counter-offer, with Republicans saying that Democrats’ pitch from Monday did not count.
Sources close to the committee indicated tonight that it has not yet scheduled further closed-door, full-panel meetings. It has been nine days since all 12 members met for a private session Oct. 31.