Archive for Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kansas Congressional delegation dismayed at supercommittee’s inability to reach agreement

November 22, 2011


Members of the Kansas congressional delegation are criticizing the congressional supercommittee for failing Monday to reach a deal on federal budget cuts.

“I share the tremendous disappointment of many Americans today as another opportunity to solve our nation’s debt crisis has passed us by. But the inability of the supercommittee to find common ground is nothing new for a Congress that often puts political party above love of country,” said U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan. “When I opposed the deal that formed the supercommittee in August, I did so because I firmly believe each member of Congress was elected to make difficult decisions and that those decisions should be debated in the light of day.”

No members of the state’s delegation, all of whom are Republicans, served on the 12-member bipartisan committee.

Rep. Kevin Yoder, a freshman Republican who represents the 3rd District that includes eastern Lawrence, also didn’t support the legislation that created the committee.

“I believed its formation deferred the hard work facing Congress,” Yoder said. “Although our challenges are steep, failure is not an option, and I remain committed to working with members of both parties to find solutions to tackle the looming debt crisis facing our nation.”

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said the committee’s failure to reach a deal was a “major disappointment.”

“How could Kansans not be disappointed?” said the state’s senior senator. “Unemployment remains high. Our markets are teetering. We again fear another recession, and the only answer my friends on the other side of the aisle can find is to raise taxes on small businesses and families already struggling.”

Supercommittee leaders said Monday it was not possible to present “any bipartisan agreement” — omitting any reference to the goal of $1.2 trillion in cuts over a decade that had been viewed as a minimum for success.

President Barack Obama, criticized by Republicans for keeping the committee at arm’s length, said refusal by the GOP to raise taxes on the wealthy as part of a deal that also cut social programs was the main stumbling block. Obama has pledged to veto any attempt by lawmakers to repeal a requirement for $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts triggered by the supercommittee’s failure to reach a compromise, unless Congress approves an alternative approach.

Those cuts are designed to fall evenly on the military and domestic government programs beginning in 2013, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as well as lawmakers in both parties have warned the impact on the Pentagon could be devastating.

Roberts said those potential cuts “disproportionally affect” the military “while runaway spending programs remain untouched.”

“My hope now is that under this scenario, the public will raise its voice and the Congress will come back on Monday and start the debate anew to cut spending,” Roberts said.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins, who represents the 2nd District, which includes western Lawrence, also was disappointed and had hoped Congress could avoid the mandated cuts, her staff said.

“The congresswoman believes the opportunity still exists for the full Congress to come to an agreement that will cut $1.2 trillion from our deficit without the need for the full trigger to be implemented,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, a Jenkins spokesman.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


Paul R Getto 6 years, 4 months ago

There is still plenty of time. All both parties have to do is agree to do their jobs and act like Americans, not ideologues. Hope springs eternal, right?

DeAnn Seib 6 years, 4 months ago

The super-committee is a reflection of the larger group. Why should the super-committee be held responsible when they merely reflect the problems of the larger group?

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 4 months ago

The larger group being Congress or the people of the United States, or both?

FlawontheKaw 6 years, 4 months ago

Quick! Somebody call a doctor. I think Pat Roberts may be suffering from alzheimers.

headdoctor 6 years, 4 months ago

He might be but when someone as goofy as he is can realize the Republicans are going to far maybe the Republicans should take him serious.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

But none of these Repugs have any solution to anything except giving even more tax breaks to those who don't need them, and spending even more money on crap we don't need in the military-industrial complex.

Hadley_says 6 years, 4 months ago

Oh cry me a river. Talk about trying to cover their party behinds as they demonstrate their intransigence. The R's single handedly created this fake crisis this year on debt extension, so they don't get off this easily with their disappointment. (Everyone should check their 401(k)s this week just to show you how much these bozos cost your personally)

Let's get back to those tax rates that were good enough for Reagan.

Or maybe even Eisenhower. Now there was a socialist! Ha!

Armstrong 6 years, 4 months ago

B.S. Your post is a complete lie. The R's were not responsible for the debt extension crisis. If you would correctly recall the D's had full control of the house and senate but would not pass a budget primarily due to it being an election year. The D's further still did not pass a budget after the election. The D's further did not attempt pass a budget until the R's got into office and they were called out for it being a tax and spend and spend and spend budget.

This scenario actually works best because of spending cuts across the board and no new taxes for the government to throw away our money.Simply by the super committee doing nothing they are doing us a huge favor as sad as that is

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

Except that it's entirely likely that the "automatic" cuts will not in fact take place - there are a number of ways that may happen.

Also, I thought you were against large cuts in defense spending, which are a major part of the automatic cuts.

Armstrong 6 years, 4 months ago

I would be interested to learn more about how the automatic cuts would not take place, any sources ?

I am not a big fan of cutting defense but I am also not a fan of the current governments status quo of do nothing. As I understand the automatic cuts the super committee has a mandate to make the cuts or else both sides lose. Oddly that would work in our favor because the lackies we sent to office don't get to spend our money

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

Well, I think Congress has time in order to come up with another way to cut the $1.2 trillion to avoid the automatic stuff.

Also, they may try to pass legislation changing those in between now and when they take effect.

Since they're not actually going to happen between now and the next election, if Obama is replaced, a new president might not veto such legislation, as Obama has pledged to do.

A final note - if nothing is agreed to, the Bush tax cuts will expire a little bit before these cuts are scheduled, so there will in fact be new tax revenue as well.

I'm sorry I don't have any sources to cite - I just read a couple of stories on my home page about this.

Jay Lovett 6 years, 4 months ago

The message needs to be sent at the poles. Don't re-elect ANY members of congress. The problems wont go away but they will get the idea that we aren't going to stand for this kind of inaction. What a joke of a system we have in place, and the congress knows it. They believe they are untouchable.

voevoda 6 years, 4 months ago

President Obama tried the conciliatory thing in the first two years of his term, and the Republicans spurned him and inflamed passions against him with outrageous rhetoric ("death panels" "birthers" and similar nonsense). He's not the "divider-in-chief," rockchalk1977; that "honor" goes to Mitch McConnell.

Jimo 6 years, 4 months ago

"All he did was pass unconstitutional Obamacare and repealed the popular don't ask don't tell."

This is how a moron sums up the most productive Congress in generations. Sheesh.

"Try explaining why dirty Harry Reid has not passed a budget in 1,000+ days voe?"

Try explaining why you're obsessed with something that ranks dead last on most American's priority list. Sheesh.

Meanwhile, the President's nominations sit barely moving in the Senate. The judiciary is in major crisis because it hasn't the confirmed judges necessary to even begin to move the workload. And of course the Senate hasn't passed the jobs bill -- voters' #1 concern. And that's when the Senate doesn't have to deal with Repubs playing chicken about defaulting on our debts. The fact that the House has yet to produce a budget the Senate can pass (or that the President can sign) is the least of our concerns.

jafs 6 years, 4 months ago

That's a frequent expression used by BornAgainAmerican.

Armstrong 6 years, 4 months ago

I have to admit I was 100% opposed to the super-committee as it was so far from the norm regarding how the government has traditionally operated. This is one case inwhich gridlock seems to be working in our favor. No compromise means cuts take effect across the board with no new taxes. As dysfunctional as this scenario seems it works in our favor for congress to keep doing what they do best - nothing.

Daniel Dicks 6 years, 4 months ago

Until one of these hand-wringing lying republicans start to talk about the Bush tax cuts for the rich and two unfunded wars, the people of this nation will have to wait until the election. All those who can't afford to wait can eat cake until then. Thanks for nothing congress! The worst ever!

Fossick 6 years, 4 months ago

It must be kept in mind that these are "congressional" budget cuts - there are no actual cuts, not even to defense. As Sen. Paul noted, defense spending will still go up 15% over 10 years with the 'cuts' in place.

As is usually the case, the best possible solution is for Congress to not agree on anything. Americans ought to be celebrating the failure of Congress to agree on how they will be even further fleeced over the next decade.

blindrabbit 6 years, 4 months ago

Why should the Kansas Congressional Delegation by dismayed and surprised by the impasse of the Super; they take their marching orders from big contributors like the Kochs, listen to the drivel of Rove and Ms. Cheney and the radiodittoheads such as Limbaugh, and are boxed-in by their signature on a pledge from/to the egotist Grover Norquist! The outcome was pre-determined by language from John Boehner and Mitch McConnell; there was no point in Pres. Obama trying to negotiate with that lockstepped organization . Even Cheney's former senator buddy Alan Simpson is off-put by the likes of Norquist, although listening to Simpson rant what I hear is mental masturbation.

Chris Golledge 6 years, 4 months ago

"...and the only answer my friends on the other side of the aisle can find is to raise taxes on small business and families already struggling.”"


a) The Dems agree large cuts are required. b) The tax 'increase' pushed for hardest is a repeal of the tax 'breaks' given under Bush to the wealthy.

Also, the military spending is a 'runaway'; the US spends more than twice, per capita, what any other nation spends on the military budget. It's time to quit being the world's police force.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 4 months ago

Bingo! Notice, how Pat Roberts is the only one who lies and blamed the other side? Pat Roberts is a big part of our problem. He's been in DC since 1981 working with others to purposely guide this country into a nose dive. Pat Roberts "Staff Salaries" went from $1.7 million dollars to $2.7 million dollars in 10 years. He's totally controlled by the Military-Industrial-Complex and has never seen a military spending increase he didn't like. Pat Roberts needs to be removed from office ASAP.

The Christian Science Monitor; November 22, 2011. Bush tax cuts debate helped to doom super committee effort.

"A long-running war between Democrats and Republicans over Bush-era tax cuts doomed the debt super committee's chances of reaching a deal."

Reuters; November 22, 2011. Super committee had glimpse of elusive compromise.

"When the November 7 Baucus meeting began, the seven members there were ready to get down to brass tacks - although the session did not start well, according to both sides. It opened with a discussion of a new Democratic proposal to raise taxes by $1 trillion, cut spending by $1 trillion, and spend another $300 billion to stimulate the economy. The issue of tax increases had been a red flag for Republican negotiators all year, especially as most Republican members of Congress - including all six on the debt panel - had signed an anti-tax pledge authored by the powerful Washington conservative Grover Norquist."

Pat Roberts needs to sit down and STFU!

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 4 months ago

Who Voted To Buy C-17 Planes The Pentagon Says It Doesn't Want? Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts.

"The vote has to do with C-17 cargo planes - 2.5 billion dollars worth of them. Congress added this spending for C-17 planes even though the White House did not request it. The Pentagon says that it does not need the C-17 planes, and it doesn't want Congress to buy them.

It should have been an easy call for any member of the Senate to vote for S. AMDT. 2558. If the military says that it doesn't need and doesn't want expensive cargo airplanes, then Congress shouldn't buy them, right? Unfortunately, many senators don't see things that way. "

blindrabbit 6 years, 4 months ago

Scrap out military boondoggles including F22 Stealth Fighter, Marine Corps Osprey, Navy Ford Class Supercarriers would be a good start!

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 4 months ago

Who Voted To Buy C-17 Planes The Pentagon Says It Doesn't Want? Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts.

texburgh 6 years, 4 months ago

"...the only answer my friends on the other side of the aisle can find is to raise taxes on small business and families already struggling.”

This is a perfect summary of the problem. Roberts' only response is to point the finger and lie. He lies first about the Democrats' position since they are proposing taxes on the wealthy (not struggling families) and corporations like GE that don't pay any taxes (not small businesses that do) and then, by implication, about his own party in his attempt to make us believe any of them seek compromise. The Republicans want to preserve tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the nation while demanding that Democrats agree to gutting social security and medicare. The Democrats insist on preserving social security and medicare by taxing the wealthy. No one talks or compromises at all.

Our Koch addicted delegation is ready to destroy the American economy and the lives of countless American working men and women to win a presidential election and bring the emerging plutocracy into full flower. God help us all.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 4 months ago

God won't help us...Smith and Wesson will. We can help ourselves if we'd put down the beer and turn off the television. It's time for torches and pitchforks...and Smith and Wesson.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 4 months ago

It's a shame we've come to this point, but we've been forced into a corner now. This isn't a left/right problem. It's a United States of America problem. Our country has been sold out by a bunch of psychopaths in DC and the State House.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 4 months ago

Note, I did not advocate violence towards anyone. Just wave your torches, pitchforks and Smith and Wessons around in the air....wave them like you just don't care.

dipweed 6 years, 4 months ago

Will someone please explain to me why there is Republican opposition to letting the tax cuts on wealthy Americans expire? These cuts were put in place in times of a budget surplus, and now we have quite the opposite situation. It only makes sense that letting the tax cuts expire be at least a part of the solution.

bevy 6 years, 4 months ago

Dipweed, the answer is simple. They oppose them because they ARE the wealthiest Americans! Neither side gives a tinker's dam about their constituents. It's time to Vote Them All Out! Too bad we can't just clean house like they do in other countries.

headdoctor 6 years, 4 months ago

Yup. The Republican side is full of NeoLiberals that are perfectly willing to sacrifice the entire country just so they can have it their way.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 4 months ago

Obama has pledged to veto any congressional attempts to legislate away the automatic spending cuts.

Veto, Barack, veto!

headdoctor 6 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, yeah. It is Obama's fault. Never mind that the total vote in Congress for the Budget Control Act of 2011 was 202 Republicans for it and 140 Democrats joining them and Obama did sign it into law. I believe the Republicans thought this was a grand way to bull dog Obama to the ground. It has turned into comedy gold now that this law is biting the Republicans right in their own butt.

cowboy 6 years, 4 months ago

Roberts...owned by Koch Moran...owned by Koch Yoder...owned by payday loan shylocks and Koch

The liars club speaks

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 4 months ago

Pat Roberts! Read my lips....STFU, traitor.

Armstrong 6 years, 4 months ago

Larry, the number of your posts and content your moniker defines you well

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 4 months ago

Thanks! Its a tough job but somebody's got to do it. Sweet dreams!

Thomas Kurata 6 years, 4 months ago

Ther Americans For Tax Reform website shows that Senators Moran and Roberts and Rep. Jenkins all signed Grovor Norquist's pledge not to raise taxes. The website does not indicate Rep. Yoder signed the pledge prior to the start of the 112th Congress. The words of disappointment expressed by these politicians about the recent failure of the supercommittee to reach an agreement to reduce the debt are hollow and disingenuous on this matter.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.