With less than four weeks until the special House-Senate deficit “Super Committee” must produce some kind of budget deficit deal, the countdown clock has truly started on Capitol Hill, as both sides spent the last two days starting their political maneuvers.
Democrats went first, leaking out their own $3 trillion plan, split between tax increases and budget savings.
Republicans said something that might translate to “No thanks.”
GOP leaders then let it be known in their own precise language that they were offering a plan that featured only budget cuts.
Democrats said something that equated to “No thanks.”
“We are hoping that the committee will have an agreement that is big, is bold, and is balanced,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, using the White House buzzword that means a combination of tax increases and budget cuts.
“And it’s about time for us to see this Supercommittee narrow its possibilities and reach an agreement,” said Pelosi.
A few minutes later in the same press conference room in the bowels of the Capitol, House Speaker John Boehner was also urging action.
“I’m not surprised that we’re having some difficulty because this isn’t easy,” Boehner told reporters.
“But I do think it’s time for everybody to get serious about it.” Boehner added.
Of course, “serious” can mean different things to different people, especially in these ongoing battles over taxes and spending cuts.
The deficit committee will hold another hearing next week, as the clock keeps ticking towards the November 23 deadline, without much sign of progress.
It usually does take a deadline to get the Congress to act. Sometimes.