Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) wants to kill off the new deficit-cutting supercommittee, which she called secretive and a threat to the democratic process.
Waters introduced a bill Thursday night that would amend the debt-ceiling deal approved in early August by eliminating the bipartisan committee created under the deal to find more deficit cuts.
Under the debt deal, the 12-member panel must find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts by Nov. 23. If it fails, automatic cuts will be triggered in defense and domestic spending programs.
Waters’s legislation would kill the committee and eliminate the automatic triggers, but would not undo the debt-limit increase.
“[A]re you comfortable with 12 people making over a trillion [dollars] in cuts with no input behind [closed doors]?” Waters tweeted Friday about her legislation.
Waters introduced her measure on the eve of the deadline for congressional committees to recommend cost-cutting measures to the super-panel.
In a statement released by her office Friday, Waters criticized Republicans for seeking steep spending cuts without negotiating on tax reforms.
“The Tea Party has so rigged the law that regardless of whether the supercommittee fails or succeeds to meet its goal, it is likely that the end result will be draconian spending cuts to critical programs,” Water’s office said in a statement.
Waters was a vocal critic of the deal even before it was passed. She lamented the deal to raise the federal debt limit as the worst piece of legislation to come out of Congress, and questioned the supercommittee’s constitutionality in a floor statement before the legislation was voted on.
“I am very concerned with the precedent set by this 'supercommittee,' whose establishment threatens our democratic process with its unconstitutional structure,” Waters said on Aug. 1.
Opposition to the committee has come from both sides of the aisle. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), the most vocal opponent of the committee among presidential hopefuls, said the committee was doomed to fail, and criticized its secret nature at a debate in August.
“What they ought to do is scrap the committee right now [and] recognize it is a dumb idea,” Gingrich said at the Fox News/Washington Examiner debate. “Go back to regular legislative business and give every subcommittee the task of finding savings. Do it out in the open through regular legislative order, and get rid of this secret phony business.”