Baucus To Super Committee: Think Big

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Max Baucus
Sen. Max Baucus has reportedly asked the budget deficit super committee to up the ante, proposing a $3 billion in deficit reduction through spending cuts and tax increases.

The Congressional super committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions by Nov. 23 was reportedly encouraged to aim higher by Senate Democrats, according to The Washington Post.

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., reportedly told his colleagues on the committee to finish what President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, started this summer in their failed negotiations over the debt ceiling.

According to The Post, Baucus asked revenue increases be even larger than currently proposed, which was met with immediate consternation by the committee's Republican members. He suggested a plan nearly equally divided between tax increases and spending cuts, including $500 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, while offering support for Obama's proposed $300 billion in new investment.

Super Committee Deadline Approaching

The super committee has less than a month left to scrap together $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. Coupled with the growing presence of lobbyists, as reported by POLITICO, and wide ideological gap split along party lines, some have been left wondering if the committee will be able to meet its mandate by Nov. 23. 

Congressional leaders convened with the super committee's co-chairs on Tuesday in an effort to guide ongoing negotiations and speed along a deal.

The super committee was established as part of a deficit reduction deal, the Budget Control Act, in exchange for raising the nation's debt ceiling on Aug. 2. While the government was allowed to borrow up to $2.4 trillion more through 2013, the super committee was charged with reaching a bipartisan consensus on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. Congress then has until Dec. 23 to pass the recommendations, otherwise trigger cuts, in the form of slashes to defense spending and Medicare benefits, would be automatically enacted. 

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