By Erik Wasson
Senate Democrats on the supercommittee say the group needs to include stimulus for the economy in the deficit-reduction plan it has been tasked with producing by Thanksgiving.
The three Senate Democrats serving on the 12-member deficit supercommittee outlined their approach to the talks in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Wednesday.
“We know that our goal is to reduce spending. But we also know that America faces not just a budget deficit but also a jobs deficit. Nobody on this committee would be happy if we reduced the budget deficit but even more Americans end up losing their jobs,” Murray, Baucus and Kerry wrote in the op-ed.
Senate Democrats tried to get stimulus measures in the debt-ceiling deal but failed. They were seeking a, extension to the payroll tax holiday, extension of unemployment insurance and new infrastructure spending.
The three senators repeated the party line that the supercommittee must produce a plan that involves “shared sacrifice” — code for tax increases on the wealthy.
“[W]e are ready to get to work with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to report out a balanced plan, with the shared sacrifices this moment requires,” the senators wrote.
Republicans on the supercommittee are against any new tax increases, and Democrats' insistence on new revenue could cause the group to deadlock — leading to $1.2 trillion in automatic across the board spending cuts in 2013.
In contrast to President Obama, the senators do not call for the group to go beyond its mandate to find $1.5 trillion in deficit savings.