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Hensarling: We Could Not Bridge the Gap Hensarling: We Could Not Bridge the Gap

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Homepage / SUPER COMMITTEE

Hensarling: We Could Not Bridge the Gap

November 22, 2011

Philosophical differences between Democrats and the GOP were to blame for the super committee's failure, the committee's Co-Chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

"Ultimately, the committee did not succeed because we could not bridge the gap between two dramatically competing visions of the role government should play in a free society, the proper purpose and design of the social safety net, and the fundamentals of job creation and economic growth," Hensarling wrote.

Hensarling blamed the Democrats' unwillingness to negotiate and said Republicans were willing to increase taxes if Democrats would agree to pro-growth tax reform.

 

“The Democrats said no,” Hensarling wrote. “They were unwilling to agree to anything less than $1 trillion in tax hikes — and unwilling to offer any structural reforms to put our health care entitlements on a permanently sustainable basis.”

Although Democrats blame the committee’s breakdown on Republican refusal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, Hensarling said it was the Democrats' refusal to relent on tax and entitlement reform that really stood in the way of negotiations.

But his finger-pointing came with some applause as well.

“I believe my co-chair, Sen. Patty Murray [of Washington state], and every Democrat acted with honor and integrity and negotiated in good faith to the end,” Hensarling wrote.

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