What Democrats called a “last-ditch” super-committee offer made by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, remained on the table Monday afternoon, but committee aides in both parties still expect the panel to declare failure within hours.
GOP aides and lobbyists described Kerry’s offer as informal. It is not on paper. Aides said it includes an annual fix to a reimbursement formula that would saddle physicians who take Medicare patients with a pay cut, a patch preventing the alternative minimum tax from hitting additional households, and extensions of unemployment benefits and a payroll-tax cuts for workers. Aides in both parties said the GOP is reviewing the offer. They said that prewritten news releases announcing the panel’s failure are on hold pending that review.
But two GOP aides described the offer as a public-relations ploy by Democrats and said they still expect the committee to announce its failure as early as late afternoon on Monday.
It was not clear how much Democratic support the offer has. Republicans said they are unsure if any Democrats beyond Kerry support it.
Republican aides who worked for super committee members have already received what they called an e-mail note thanking them for their work.