Congress scrambles to assign blame for failed supercommittee

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted a link to an interview he did on MSNBC, in which he cited the GOP as the losers in the aftermath: “The American people are the winners and the Republicans are the big losers: t.co/UHMow3Wf #supercommittee #GOP #Dems #senate."

Republicans turned on President Obama for his pledge to veto any attempt to stop the automatic cuts triggered by supercommittee failure that were written into last summer's debt-ceiling bargain as an incentive to come to a deal.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote: "I recommend the President have a conversation with [Defense] Secretary [Leon] Panetta about the effects of the defense cuts on our national security."

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said planned automatic cuts to the military will negatively affect national security.

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) commented on Obama’s Monday warning that he will not take away the "pressure" on Congress to reach a compromise as campaign tactics: "Campaigner-in-Chief stated he'll veto any plan that stops sequestration cuts to Defense. A clear indicator of who he is."

Obama placed the failure of the supercommittee squarely on Republicans in a speech on Monday, blaming their unwillingness to compromise on raising taxes as leading to the failure.

By Tuesday some lawmakers began blaming themselves.

In addition to blaming Obama, West had some harsh words for his colleagues and himself: “Failure of Super Committee is sad indictment on all of us Members of Congress. On heels of failed BBA [balanced budget amendment] we as a collective body are pathetic.”

And several lawmakers used the supercommittee’s failure as a call for action.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a former member of the Senate "Gang of Six," tweeted: “The failure of the super cmte means it is time for the real cmte–Congress–to act. My plan offers $9 trillion in savings:http://t.co/maMltCyF.”

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) echoed the White House in calling on Congress to stop pointing fingers and get back to work: “It's not time for finger-pointing, its time to get back to work and solve our debt crisis #supercommittee”

And Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) tweeted a similar message: “The supercommittee may have failed, but Congress must still step up and confront our nation's debt”

The joint committee on deficit reduction, commonly known as the supercommittee, had until Nov. 23 to come up with a plan to balance the budget but announced failure on Monday. Failure to come up with a plan to balance the budget in the next year will result in automatic cuts to discretionary and non-discretionary programs starting in 2013.