Sen. Toomey Remains Hopeful as Super Committee Deadline Looms
With the clock winding down for the congressional super committee to reach an agreement to slash the federal deficit, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said Sunday “it’s not entirely too late.”
“It’s going to be very difficult,” the tea party favorite said on CBS
’ “Face the Nation.” “I will acknowledge the time is short now.”
Toomey, who drafted an early Republican plan, said the process had been “enormously frustrating for me and my colleagues” and cited what he called an “insistence that we have a trillion dollar tax increase” coming from Democrats.
“There is still an opportunity. There’s a plan on the table that would at least take us halfway to our goal which is on the shelf, it’s scored and ready to go,” said Toomey. “If the Democrats would agree to that, we could still get something done. If they come back with a counter-proposal we’d work on it.”
CBS notes that while Wednesday is the super committee’s official deadline to reach an agreement to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the national deficit over the next decade, the 12 member panel is legally required to make their plan public at least 48 hours before taking a vote. That means a real deadline of Monday at midnight, which means failure is a likely outcome.
If the group fails to broker a deal, more than $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts will take effect – also called sequestration – targeting defense and domestic programs like Medicare beginning in 2013. Sen. Toomey sees this option as a “silver lining.”
“The silver lining in what will be a huge disappointment for me if we don’t have real success here, the silver lining is we’re going to get the spending cuts anyway,” Toomey said. But, he argued that the cuts must be “reconfigured.”
“They’re done in a way that would be very harmful to our nation’s defense,” Toomey said. “Our own Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, has said that they would hollow out our military. I think it’s very important that we change the configuration but that we not abandon the spending cuts because we need them.”