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Monday, November 21, 2011

 5:06 PM 

Wis. delegation responds to supercommittee's failure to reach deficit deal

Wisconsin lawmakers criticized today's announcement that the congressional supercommittee to reduce the deficit would be unable to reach a deal by Wednesday's deadline.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville and the House Budget Committee chairman, ripped Democrats for failing to lead during the committee's negotiations but said the process has clarified "the growing bipartisan consensus" on the need for entitlement and tax reform.

"Unfortunately, Democrats on the Joint Committee never ‘coalesced’ around a plan, refused to consider structural reforms to government spending on health care, and insisted on at least $1 trillion in higher taxes on hardworking Americans," said Ryan, who asked not to be added to the deficit panel in August.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, added, "Reducing the rate of growth in government spending should not be this hard."

U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Milwaukee, called the breakdown "most unfortunate," and said he would "continue to support long term debt reduction that includes a balanced mix of spending cuts and revenue increases.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, responded that he was proud to be part of a group of lawmakers to call for a grand compromise between the parties, lamenting that "apparently the forces of dysfunction are too great to bring a resolution."

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, said he's working on his own plan to cut the deficit "to get our fiscal house in order before the markets start turning on us here in America."

U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Sherwood, said Dems rejected Republicans' balanced approach of cuts and increased revenue, while the president didn't engage in the process, and "I’m very frustrated that the supercommittee failed to come up with a proposal to drive down this massive debt and it underscores the incredible amount of work that lays ahead to get our fiscal house in order.”

And U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, urged the president to "veto any attempt to undo the automatic across-the-board cuts caused by the Select Committee’s failure, unless it is accompanied by dollar- for-dollar offsets in spending cuts.”


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