By Jeremy Herb - 11/22/11 06:59 PM EST
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the congressional supercommittee's failure Monday to come to an agreement on spending reforms was “good news” because it will help to end the Bush-era tax cuts and
give Democrats more bargaining power in budget negotiations.
The supercommittee’s failure to reach an agreement sets in motion $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to take effect in 2013 through sequestration.
Half of those cuts are to defense initiatives, which has hawks in Congress vowing to undo them. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said Monday that he was readying a bill that would prevent the defense cuts.
Frank, who has long advocated for a smaller military budget said that gives Democrats the upper hand, citing President Obama’s threat Monday to veto attempts to avoid the cuts altogether.
Frank said the supercommittee’s inability to produce a plan was not a failure of Congress, but rather a reflection of the country’s “peak divisions.”
He said that Democrats should offer to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class and end them for the wealthy, counting that as savings against the automatic cuts.
“And if you don’t like it,” Frank said, “well, then we’ll just sit back, see sequestration and the taxes go up on everybody.”
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