A coalition of 155 organizations Thursday called on members of the House-Senate super committee — which has been tasked with shaving an additional $1.2-1.5 trillion from the federal deficit by the end of the year — to go the extra mile.
The Joint House-Senate Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, better known as the super committee, was created as a result of a deficit-reduction package hammered out by President Obama and congressional leaders in August (see Daily GPI, Aug. 15). It was directed to identify an additional $1.2-1.5 trillion in cuts to the deficit by Nov. 23, with Congress to vote on it by Dec. 23.
The coalition members, which included the American Gas Association and U.S. Oil & Gas Association, urged the super committee “to go beyond the legislative mandate of the Balanced Budget Control Act of 2011 [requiring it] to achieve savings of $1.2 to $1.5 trillion to ensure that we stabilize our nation’s debt and put the debt’s share of the economy on a downward path,” the coalition wrote in a letter to the super-committee members.
The super committee’s proposed cuts would be in addition to what was proposed in the deficit-reduction package: a $2.4 trillion cut in the deficit over 10 years and increase in the debt ceiling by at least $2.1 trillion.
“We believe it is crucial to act expeditiously to rein in spending, reform the tax code, reduce the deficit, and stabilize and ultimately lower America’s level of debt,” the coalition said.
“The U.S. tax system is in desperate need of simplification and fundamental comprehensive reform that encourages investment and employment.” And with 70 million baby boomers set to begin their retirements this year, the coalition said, “reforms to major entitlement programs should be made as quickly as possible so that the benefits of current and near-term retirees are secured and changes in future benefits can be phased in over a period of time.”
Some of the signatories to the letter were the American Chemistry Council, American Forest & Paper Association, Business Roundtable, Steel Manufacturers Association, National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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