LA Congressman: US ‘Missed Huge Opportunity’ After Debt Supercommittee Failure

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Southland member of the Congressional committee appointed to draft a plan to cut at least $1 trillion from the U.S. deficit said Tuesday the nation “missed a huge opportunity” to address its economic problems.

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) was a member of the joint select “super-committee” whose failure to offer specific solutions for the federal budget deficit will likely lead to “looming automatic cuts to important federal services”.

“The elements of a balanced plan for job creation and deficit reduction were in front of us,” said Becerra. “Unfortunately, the joint select committee has missed a huge opportunity.”

Becerra was among three House Democrats members appointed to the 12-member committee by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).

Becerra called the appointment “an honor and a great responsibility.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Judy Chu, D-El Monte, said, “I am not surprised that the Super Committee did not work. Twelve members of Congress were asked to change the face of our American government behind closed doors, with transparency and without participation of the American people.”

Chu went on to berate the Republican party ideologues, who she said blocked any agreement.

“Apparently for the GOP, keeping tax cuts in place for those making more than $1 million a year is more important than the long-term fiscal health and well-being of our nation,” Chu said.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) called the failure a deep disappointment.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Super Committee failed to reach a deal on reducing our deficit,” Sanchez said. “Americans are tired of a dysfunctional government and the Super Committee’s failure to compromise only reinforces the belief that Congress is broken.

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) called it “shameful” that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction was unable to recommend at least $1.2 trillion in additional deficit reduction by the Wednesday deadline established as part of the agreement to raise the debt ceiling limit that also created the

“I am worried that our nation’s credit rating and long-term fiscal health is at risk if Congress can’t even take this modest step to stop sending,” said Miller.

According to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll Congress’ approval rating has sunk to an all-time low of 9 percent.

In the CNN/ORC poll respondents were 10 points more likely to blame Congressional Republicans for the compromise failure. And in the McClatchy/Marist poll, voters were 12 points more likely to blame Republicans.

So what does the public think? According to the Pew Research Center poll, voters say the reductions should be accomplished through a combination of cuts to major programs and tax increases. Overall, the watchword for the public is compromise.

Most Americans in the Pew poll say they would like lawmakers who share their views to be willing to compromise, even if that means making a deal that includes elements they don’t agree with.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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