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Congressional Insiders Poll

Congressional Insiders Poll

If the super committee fails to produce a deficit-reduction plan by its deadline, will Congress find a way to prevent the automatic cuts from taking effect?

Democrats (25 Votes)

Yes: 40%
No: 56%
Other: 4%



“I believe that the Senate would move to adopt a 10-year budget framework that resembles the Bowles-Simpson deficit-commission proposal. If it passed with bipartisan support and the response of the markets was strong and positive, the House might be compelled to go along.”

“We have until January 2013 before the first automatic cut occurs. We should be able to give it another try and get it done. The election of 2012 may have an impact and spur us to act.”


“Congress has no guts to cut the military and, ergo, will block it.”


“I hope we can, but all Republicans want to do is slash spending, no matter how reckless it is.”

“There is very little chance the super committee will be able to reach agreement for more than a fraction of the amount demanded, if at all.”


“We can’t agree on anything.”

“Not unless Obama and the Senate D’s cave and give the R’s everything they want for nothing in return. Oh, wait, that probably means yes.”


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“No, except—predictably—for defense spending.”


If the super committee fails to produce a deficit-reduction plan by its deadline, will Congress find a way to prevent the automatic cuts from taking effect?

Republicans (18 Votes)

Yes: 56%
No: 39%
Other: 6%


“I feel confident the super committee will make its goal; hoping for a bit more. If not, Congress will not allow that level of defense spending [cuts].”

“I don’t think the super committee will fail, but in your scenario, yes, Congress will avoid the automatic cuts. The savings and revenue identified by the Biden group serves as the blueprint for super-committee success.”


“The GOP Conference is very serious about reducing spending, and it will, one way or the other. What it won’t do is raise tax rates.”

“The mandatory cuts are what makes the super committee have to do its job. No proposal—all cuts.”

“It’s time to pay the piper—one way or the other.”


“It’s unclear whether we have another option.”


Do you think the super committee’s operations are too secretive?

Democrats (25 votes)

Yes: 56%
No: 40%
Other: 4%


“Yes, but there is really only one way they’ll come up with something, and that’s by being quiet about the discussions and deliberations.”

“Yes, but it is very difficult with such short deadlines.”

“Too secretive, but probably essential to get the job done.”


“Where are the tea partiers calling for more transparency?”

“The American people should have been able to see the Republicans standing up for the billionaires.”


“The one sure way to make certain that the committee makes little meaningful progress is to make public its deliberations.”

“The Constitutional Convention [of 1787] was all done behind closed doors—to get something done.”

“As with any legislative body, the real work is done in private. On any major item, it has always been pure fiction to ‘work in public,’ so why bother to pretend?”


“It needs to work publicly and privately, but more public is better.”


Do you think the super committee’s operations are too secretive?

Republicans (18 votes)

Yes: 33%
No: 67%


“I think the public deserves to know more about the deliberations, and members need to know more about what we may be voting on.”

“Yes, but it’s unavoidable. Otherwise, every special interest would be running ads in the members’ districts complaining about their issue. We really don’t need all the gory details; just get ’er done!”


“For negotiations to reach a conclusion, the solutions need time to breathe before they are killed in the crib.”

“It’s about [doing] right.”

“The people who need to know and must produce the votes—the leadership—are well-informed about the committee’s deliberations. Members have had a chance for input, as have the impacted interests. Doing more would create chaos for no good purpose.”

“In order make the tough decisions, sometimes you need to be shielded from the immediate criticism our 24-hour news cycle produces. Secrecy provides that.”

“Transparency is nice, but results are better.”


Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Mark Pryor, Tom Udall; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Linda Sanchez, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.

 GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, David Vitter; Reps. John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.

This article appears in the October 22, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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