If Reps. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Heath Shuler, D-N.C., had been on the deficit-reduction supercommittee, a deal would have already been struck, the two men agreed on MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday.
“It would have been great—this would’ve been solved the first day that we had the opportunity, if we’d been on the super committee,” Shuler said. “We would’ve joined forces to get something done.”
Shuler, a Blue Dog Democrat, and Simpson have joined forces to urge the super committee to aim for $4 trillion in savings—over twice the committee'ss $1.5 trillion goal. Over 150 members have joined the lawmakers' 'Go Big' coalition, Shuler said.
"We actually do agree," Shuler said. The lawmakers called for a deal that includes both entitlement cuts and revenue increases—not tax increases, but revenue found by clearing loopholes out of the tax code. “Some people will call those tax hikes. I don't do that,” Simpson said.
Another thing the two men agree on? There’s still hope for the Simpson-Bowles commission’s deficit reduction recommendations, which were released in December 2010.
“I certainly wish that that would have been recommended to Congress,” Simpson said. “And to tell you the truth, in just my conversations with people, I think if you put that on the floor, it probably passes. I can't say that for sure, but I think it probably does.” Shuler nodded in agreement.
“You know, most people here I think are willing to take a tough vote. And it's going to be a tough vote no matter what comes out of the super committee,” Simpson said. “I just want a tough vote to mean something. Two trillion doesn't get us down the road.”