By Mike Lillis - 11/17/11 06:02 PM EST
Pelosi, however, said she'd much prefer a grand bargain to sequestration.
"I don't want that to happen," she said. "It's a blunt, crude way to do it. We could do it more finely, with more establishing of priorities, if we were to do it in the committee."
The remarks arrive with just six days left before the deficit panel’s deadline for reaching an agreement to slash deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years. If a majority of the supercommittee cannot agree to a deal, it will trigger automatic cuts of that same amount.
More than 100 House lawmakers from both parties — along with almost 50 senators from both sides — have urged the 12 members of the panel to reach far beyond its mandate and instead cut in the area of $4 trillion.
Last week, Republicans offered a $1.2 trillion plan that includes $250 billion in new tax revenues if the Bush-era tax rates are extended beyond their 2013 expiration date.
Democrats have rejected that offer, arguing that any plan to slash entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid would have to be balanced out by significant tax hikes, particularly on the wealthiest Americans.
Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), a Democratic member of the supercommittee, suggested this week that there's not enough time before the panel's Nov. 23 deadline to bridge the partisan divide on taxes. He said the committee members are mulling a plan to kick tax reform back to Congress next year.
"With time quickly expiring it becomes more difficult to package something big ... and have the Congressional Budget Office be able to score it," Becerra said Tuesday. "And so you hear more and more [among supercommittee members] the talk about trying to do some of it now, a down-payment now, and the rest later with some instructions to the Congress on how you get it done."