Oct 14, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mikael Moore
Phone: (202) 225-2201
Congresswoman Waters Introduces Bill to End Secret ‘Super Committee’
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to eliminate the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The bill repeals the provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that create, fund, and establish the Super Committee's rules. Further, the bill repeals the enforcement mechanisms that trigger automatic budget cuts in defense and discretionary spending. All other provisions, including the debt ceiling increase, would remain intact.
"I firmly believe that Congress should be focused squarely on this nation's unemployment crisis. Since the Super Committee's single charge is to produce $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction-- which could include cuts to programs that create jobs --it must be promptly dismantled so that regular order can be restored and the federal government can fully dedicate itself to creating jobs and stimulating the economy. If not, unemployment will inevitably rise in all communities, in particular in communities of color."
Republicans refuse to negotiate on tax reform, and they remain immovable to making cuts in federal corporate welfare programs to the oil and gas, defense, and financial services industries. At the same time, however, they continue to propose steep cuts in: low income heating subsidies; community development block grants; Pell Grants; grad student loan subsidies; and health care affordability. Their entire agenda is predicated upon the destruction of the social safety net and the elimination of programs and federal assistance during a time when they are needed the most.
The committee is an illegitimate shell game which poor and middle class Americans will lose. It flies in the face of basic principles of fairness and transparency. How can 12 people decide the fate of millions Americans behind closed doors with little to no input from Congress or the average citizen? The Super Committee's final legislative product will receive an up or down vote in both bodies of Congress; however, Members will not be allowed to offer amendments. Therefore the 523 Members of the House and Senate who do not serve on the Super Committee will be excluded from having the opportunity to represent their constituents' interests in Super Committee's bill. The Tea Party has so rigged the law that regardless of whether the Super Committee fails or succeeds to meet its goal, it is likely that the end result will be draconian spending cuts to critical programs.
"Republicans have completely hijacked the legislative process, and they have seized every opportunity to hold the most perfunctory of congressional business hostage for their radical agenda. The Republicans manufactured "Debt Ceiling Crisis" last July is the latest example of the lengths this relatively small group of lawmakers is willing to go to achieve irresponsible cuts. The formation of the Super Committee is merely another counterproductive tool the Republicans can exploit for the next "showdown" they are certain to stage, while doing nothing to create jobs."
Text of the legislation attached