Van Hollen 'Disappointed' in Supercommittee's Failure
The Kensington Democrat says Congress missed a great opportunity.
The bi-partisan committee tasked with slashing the federal deficit will not be able reach an agreement before the Wednesday deadline, its leadership announced this evening.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Kensington Democrat, is a member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and said Congress has missed a great opportunity.
"I am very disappointed that the Joint Committee was unable to develop a plan to boost job growth and reduce the long-term deficit in a predictable, balanced way," he said in a statement.
Van Hollen said members of the public will likely blame both parties for the supercommittee's breakdown, but that wouldn't be a fair analysis.
"That approach would be as easy as it would be wrong," he said. "... In the days ahead, I urge the public and the media to carefully review the facts and record about what prevented the Joint Committee from developing a sound and balanced plan. I look forward to that discussion."
Van Hollen is the ranking member of the House Budget Committee and was appointed to the supercommittee after its August inception.
The group was charged with cutting at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over 10 years, and Van Hollen was pushing for $4 trillion in cuts before time ran out on the talks.
Sen. Ben Cardin, also a Democrat, echoed Van Hollen's disappointment and said Congress needs to hash out a plan before automatic budget cuts kick in a process called sequestration.
"Sequestration is a drastic step," Cardin said in a statement. "It does not take effect until 2013, and I urge my congressional colleagues to work together to develop a plan that will rebuild America by stimulating job growth, helping small businesses succeed and investing in our nation’s future."
Cardin sits on the Senate's finance and budget committees but was not a supercommitee member.