GOP members of deficit-reduction panel huddle with Boehner, McConnell

GOP members of deficit-reduction panel huddle with Boehner, McConnell

Republicans on the supercommittee are planning to work through the weekend in an attempt to break the stalemate in deficit-reduction talks with Democrats.

The Republicans on the deficit panel huddled with House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerEx-GOP lawmaker joins marijuana trade group Crowley, Shuster moving to K Street On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 MORE (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKids confront Feinstein over Green New Deal Trump selects Kelly Craft for United Nations ambassador Union leader says Green New Deal would make infrastructure bill ‘absolutely impossible’ MORE (R-Ky.) on Friday. Democratic aides claimed Republicans were “scrambling” to find with a proposal with enough revenue to be credible without angering anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.

GOP members of the supercommitee have met almost daily with BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerEx-GOP lawmaker joins marijuana trade group Crowley, Shuster moving to K Street On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 MORE this week. 
 

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Supercommittee co-chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) told reporters that there have been “offers and counteroffers” and that members would be working all weekend on the negotiations, some in Washington and others by phone.
 
The long hours and pressure appeared to be wearing on the members. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), another supercommittee member, said Boehner gave the panel Republicans something of a pep talk Friday morning. 

“The Speaker was in here earlier and he said, ‘Guys, just remember this: We woke up this morning still living in the greatest country in the world, we still have more opportunity than anybody else, and we’re blessed with a lot of great challenges we have to deal with."

The supercommittee has until Nov. 23 to come up with at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.


Both sides have put forward a vision for a larger deal, but while the Democratic offer contained hundreds of billions of dollars in entitlement benefit cuts, the $2.2 trillion GOP offer contained only $40 billion in increased taxes from a change to the way inflation in calculated. Other revenue came from increased fees, such as for Medicare.


Democrats have been hammered by liberal groups for proposing entitlement cuts, but the proposal has bolstered their ability to pin blame on Republicans if the supercommittee fails to reach a deal. 

Boehner has said some new "revenues" are possible in the package if entitlements face significant cuts, but he has also ruled out tax increases.
 
The GOP’s ability to find acceptable revenues was made harder on Thursday when 33 Senate Republicans signed onto a letter urging the supercommittee not to raise taxes.