By Igor VolskyJust three days after House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the nation would default on its debt if President Obama does not agree to Republicans’ demands to cut spending and change parts of Obamacare, House Republicans plan to vote on legislation establishing a new super committee to hash out differences between Democrats and Republicans over reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling.
But there is just one catch: the 20-member ‘‘Bicameral Working Group on Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth,’’ composed equally of 10 Congressmen and 10 Senators, won’t consider new revenues in devising ways to reduce the deficit. To move the country out ofits current economic morass, the working group can only recommend spending cuts:
But since 2011, lawmakers have agreed to $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction — 72 percent of which has come through spending cuts.
Indeed, this unbalanced approach to deficit reduction sank the super committee established under the Budget Control Act and it’s a likely to doom this new effort. Under the terms of the working group, any plan can only pass with the support of a majority of both House and Senate members, meaning that Republican House members or Democratic Senators can single-handedly block any measure.