Utah’s congressional delegation has reacted to the failure of the so-called twelve member “super committee” to reach any kind of agreement on how the country can slash $1.2 trillion dollars from the nation’s budget.
Utah District 3 Representative Jason Chaffetz-R calls this a disaster, but he, like the six republican members of the committee, refuses to consider any type of tax hike. Forty one Senators and 238 members of the House including Chaffetz, Rob Bishop and Senators Hatch and Lee have signed a pledge refusing to increase taxes, making compromise impossible.
On the other hand, Utah District 2 Representative Jim Matheson-D said he was disappointed, and had asked that everything be put on the table, saying the committee should “go big” and find $4 trillion in cuts. He said, “Although the committee has failed, the cuts are still happening.” Matheson was the only member of the delegation that supported the debt-limit increase that allowed for the creation of the super committee.
Senator Orrin Hatch-R released a statement blaming the President for lack of leadership. Hatch called for a balanced budget amendment and for reforming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, calling that reform “essential to simultaneously bringing down our debt, while ensuring that these programs aren‘t just another broken promise to our children and grandchildren.” He also called for reforming our tax code.
Senator Mike Lee-R, a very vocal supporter of the balanced budget amendment said he had little faith in the ability of the super committee to reach an agreement.
District 1 Representative Rob Bishop-R says the cuts to the military are unacceptable and is supporting a Republican move to change the law in order to spare the Department of Defense. He said, “I don’t want to just abandon the effort to try to cut our deficit down, but this attack on the military would be devastating to the country. It has to be done a different way.” Utah’s Hill Air Force Base is a major employer in Bishop’s district.
Without an agreement, spending cuts will automatically kick in – but not until 2013. Around $454 billion of that will come out of the Pentagon’s budget. There is time after the 2012 election for congress to act to rescind those cuts. Following the election, members will not be under reelection pressure, and the lame duck congress will have less to lose if they alter the cuts.
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Source: The Hill, Salt Lake Tribune, Senator Orrin Hatch, KUTV News