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Super Committee Deficit Cuts: Nancy Pelosi Offers Democratic Plan

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SUPER CONGRESS
AP

WASHINGTON -- Democrats in the House offered up their ideas for the budget-slashing super committee Thursday, insisting again that the effort be "balanced" with revenue hikes.

Under the law that created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the various committees of the House and Senate are required to submit recommendations to the committee -- or the "Super Congress" -- by Friday.

For the out-of-power Democrats, releasing their ideas a day early amounted to a stunt since they are unlikely to be included in the official House suggestions prepared by the GOP.

But the insistence on revenues highlighted the extreme divide that remains between the two parties, and again suggested the likelihood that the 12-member super committee -- evenly divided between the chambers and parties -- will deadlock over the deficit reduction plan it must submit by Nov. 23.

"We want it to be big, we want it to be bold, we want it to be balanced, and in the balance side ... we need to have everyone pay their fair share," said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Republicans have steadfastly insisted that raising taxes is out of the question.

The super committee must identify at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years, and if Congress fails to act by Dec. 23, the Budget Control Act that created the committee requires automatic cuts, starting in 2013, including deep cuts to the military.

The Super Congress plan will not be subject to amendment or filibuster, giving the 12 members near-unprecedented power. Still, some have suggested that anything they do could just as easily be undone by a future Congress, since the cuts would not begin immediately.

The top Democrats on 16 House committees offered a long list of suggestions, often including closing various tax loopholes.

Among the most specific proposals came from Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Commitee, who suggested closing a slew of loopholes to raise more than $50 billion, including from the oil and gas industries.

Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) suggested proposals to spend some $16 billion to create jobs in the short run, and to save some $150 billion over 10 years.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the Democrats' leader on the Finance Committee, offered up fees on "too big to fail" banks, and raising $42 billion by regulating and taxing Internet gambling, among other items.

All the letters can be found here.

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