A group of 40 House Republicans joined 60 of their Democratic counterparts on Wednesday in a letter calling on the congressional Super Committee to consider new revenue as part of a broad deficit reduction package to potentially slash trillions from the federal budget deficit.
The rare bipartisan effort called on the Joint Select Committee on the Deficit Reduction -- better known as the Super Committee -- to consider every option at hand in order to develop a successful deficit-reduction plan that that the letter states is vital to our country's future.
To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table, the appeal argues.
Unusal GOP Move
The letter is an unusual concession for House Republicans, most of whom have fiercely contested even the idea of tax increases for the sake of balancing the federal budget without cutting funding to essential social programs.
The Super Committee has been charged with issuing a recommendation for at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over a 10-year period by Nov. 23, as required under the Budget Control Act of 2011. However, the bipartisan coalition suggested that about $4 trillion in deficit reduction is necessary to stabilize the national debt.
Our country needs our honest, bipartisan judgment and our political courage. Your committee has been given a unique opportunity and authority to act. We are prepared to support you in this effort, the letter concludes.
Dozens of Republicans who listed their support had previously signed a pledge promising they would not support a net tax increase. The pledge, crafted by the conservative-affiliated Americans for Tax Reform, was signed by 238 U.S. House Representatives and 41 U.S. Senators, including only three Democrats.
The Washington Post reports that some members of the GOP who signed the pledge fear the reaction from Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist himself told the Post that the letter did not specifically demand tax increases, but only asked the committee to consider all options.
Consider anything. Just don't vote for a tax increase, he said