Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said on Tuesday the 12-member super committee still has significant differences on a deficit reduction package and he downplayed reports of a GOP proposal floated to eliminate certain itemized deductions and loopholes in exchange for making the Bush tax cuts permanent.
“Well, [Republicans] are anxious to promote a certain concept with all of you, but I’ll be very clear that whatever they put there doesn’t get the job done, and we’ve got some distance to travel and we’re working very hard to do that,” Kerry, a super committee member, told reporters following the weekly Senate lunches.
Kerry said tax revenues remain an issue. Democrats have long insisted they be part of any viable package. Republicans continue to insist tax rates remain off the table.
“I think we’ve been very clear that there has to be some additional tax revenue, that has to be able to be scored by CBO, it has to be able to be measured. That requires a certain kind of revenue and we’ve been very clear from day one,” Kerry said, adding that he was “hopeful” the panel could meet its minimum $1.2 trillion threshold in order to head off unpopular across the board cuts.
“I think the stakes are high enough that the committee has to meet the challenge, and I’m pushing very hard for us to do that. I think there could be a lot of negative implications of not achieving the de minimis measure of what we’ve been asked to do.”