McConnell: No extension for supercommittee

Nov. 3, 2011 at 4:18 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday there will be no deadline extension for the panel tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in budget cuts.

"This is a deadline that can't be missed," McConnell told The New York Times. "I don't think the deadline can be or will be extended. I think we need to get a result."

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, made up of six Democrats and six Republicans, was established in August to find $1.2 trillion in cuts to future deficits over the next 10 years. Its final vote is expected by Nov. 23.

McConnell said the Budget Control Act of 2011 was written "in such a way to make it almost impossible to change the deadline."

"You would have to pass a new law for this deadline to be changed," he told the Times.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., suggested Wednesday the supercommittee could seek an extension if no agreement was reached by Nov. 23.

"They are a supercommittee, and they have been given some extraordinary powers," Hoyer said. "They can issue a document that is not subject to amendment and must be considered within a certain time frame and can be passed by 51 senators." But the committee "is not the Congress, and it can't extend its deadline itself."

McConnell suggested Thursday President Obama wants the committee to fail.

"I'm now convinced that the president actually believes he would be benefited by the committee not succeeding, because it would step on his story line that we can't do anything on a bipartisan basis," McConnell said. "You know the great lengths they have gone to, to try to convince the American people that we can't do anything together."

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