Democrats have rejected the latest deficit-reduction proposal from supercommittee Republicans as an insult.
A Democratic member of the supercommittee, Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), denounced the latest GOP offer, which he described as containing $600 billion in program cuts with “only $3 billion in revenue.”
“Do we look stupid?” he told The Hill after leaving a meeting with Democratic members of the panel. “I mean, I don’t know, maybe we do. I certainly am not stupid.”
Supercommittee members on Friday said they would be meeting through the weekend in the hopes of winning a deal, and several said they recognized the urgency of their situation. The panel members face growing doubts that they will meet their goal.
The GOP proposal was offered by Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection MORE's (R-Ohio) staff to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE (D-Nev.), in yet another sign that the party leadership is taking an increasingly active role in the deadlocked negotiations.
The contours of the offer suggest the two sides are focused on the minimum $1.2 trillion deal the supercommittee must reach to avoid triggering the automatic cuts. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) earlier on Friday acknowledged a larger deal would now be difficult.
The GOP offer would have cut $643 billion from the deficit and would have kept some of the automatic cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary spending in place.
Democrats rejected the offer because it contained only $3 billion in new tax revenue, gained from closing a loophole that benefits corporate jet owners.
Clyburn said the 200:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax revenue “would be far apart” from what’s needed for a deal.
A GOP aide said that the “fallback option” was a fair compromise.
“This package represented a good-faith offer that excluded all of the reforms to entitlement programs that Democrats have expressed concern over. The proposal did not touch Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security,” the aide said. “There was nothing in the package that Democrats could call controversial.”
“We continue to hope for an agreement, but it is difficult when one side is so transparently uninterested in compromise,” the aide said.
The Democratic co-chairman of the panel, Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayTrump said he would create ‘more jobs and better wages’ — he can start with federal contractors Sanders, Dems introduce minimum wage bill Week ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's FDA pick MORE (Wash.), said Democrats were still waiting for a revenue plan from Republicans that meets their test of being “fair and balanced.”
“We are more than willing to continue to work, but that is the divide that we have today,” she told reporters.
Of the latest Republican offer, she said: “I have not seen it, but from what I’ve heard, that does meet, even close to coming to meet, the issues that we have set out from the beginning — fair and balanced.”
Lawmakers and aides say conversations are taking place on several levels, and while BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection MORE and Reid have met in recent days, members of the supercommittee continue to meet as well. Republicans and Democrats on the panel met separately on Friday, and a bipartisan group of six committee members also met for more than an hour.
A GOP source said that the offer included $229 billion in revenue, including the closure of the loopholes. The aide said the revenue figures include increased fees, spectrum auctions and land sales and taxes.
A negotiating group consisting of Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Sens. John KerryJohn KerryEgypt’s death squads and America's deafening silence With help from US, transformative change in Iran is within reach Ellison comments on Obama criticized as 'a stupid thing to say' MORE (D-Mass.), Max BaucusMax BaucusChanging of the guard at DC’s top lobby firm GOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Five reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through MORE (D-Mont.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rob PortmanRob PortmanTrump tax plan prompts GOP fears about deficit Overnight Regulation: Senators call for 'cost-effective' regs | FCC chief unveils plans to roll back net neutrality Senators push 'cost-effective' reg reform MORE (R-Ohio) huddled early Friday afternoon.
This story was posted at 3:43 p.m. and last updated at 7:50 p.m.