The U.S. Congress' budget defict super committee appears to be on the verge of a complete collapse, according to various reports.
The 12 lawmakers that make up the bipartisan group have been stalled in their talks for the better part of the last week, as the six Democrats and six Republicans that make up the group can't agree of the nature of revenue increases.
We are painfully, painfully aware of the deadline that is staring us in the face, said Republican co-chairman, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, according to Bloomberg.
Talks Perilously Close to Collapsing
A Senate Democratic aide told Bloomberg talks are now perilously close to collapsing.
The super committee, also known as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, has until Nov. 23 to unveil a proposal for eliminating at least $1.2 trillion from the budget deficit over the next decade.
But the deadline is deceptive, as the group must realistically submit a proposal by Nov. 21, to allow the Congressional Budget Office time to score any proposal. To date, however, a series of plans from the either party that comprises the super committee has been shot down along party lines, with the subject of tax revenue increases providing the dividing line.
We have made it clear that we are willing to meet their offer but it has to be in a way that is fair to working families and puts our country back to work, said Democratic co-chairwoman U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., according to POLITICO.
That's the task that we have at hand. I would hope that that is a way for them to understand that they need to compromise, too, and come back to us and reach a deal, which is critically important today. But I think the challenge is that they have to resolve the differences on their side, on revenue. And that's what we're waiting for.
Issue that Apparently Led to Impasse: Bush-Era Income Tax Cuts
The main crux appears to be a permanent extension of the Bush-era income tax cuts, which was part of a Republican proposal introduced last week. The offer was shot down by Democrats quickly.
There are some serious hurdles, U.S. Senator John Kerry, D-Mass., said after a bipartisan super committee meeting Thursday night.
The Democrats are using the Republicans' proposal as a chance at revisiting the Bush-era tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of next year.
Should Nov. 23 come without a deal, a series of trigger cuts would slash military and social safety net programs, by $1.2 trillion over the coming decade.