Will GOP Walk Away From Joint Committee Before Talks Even Begin?

House Republicans have walked away from deficit reduction talks multiple times, but will they walk away from the Joint Committee before Congressional leaders have even appointed members to the Committee? While Democrats want to work together on a balanced approach to reduce the deficit, GOP leaders are already drawing lines in the sand – suggesting that both revenues and entitlements should be off the table:

“Cantor said Republicans should ‘demand’ the new joint committee focus exclusively on spending cuts. Cantor also predicted fundamental reform of entitlements will have to wait until after the 2012 elections…”

Achieving a majority on the Committee so that we can move forward with a plan to improve our nation’s long term fiscal outlook requires compromise from both Democrats and Republicans. We hope Republicans won’t start taking options off the table before the Committee even sits down to begin its work and will move forward willing to compromise on a balanced deficit reduction plan that includes both spending cuts and revenues and will strengthen the solvency of our entitlements.

From Roll Call:

“House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, meanwhile, criticized the S&P in a Monday memo for citing Republican opposition to revenue as one of the reasons for the downgrade.”

As a result of the downgrade, ‘There will be pressure to compromise on tax increases,’ the Virginia Republican wrote. ‘We will be told that there is no other way forward. I respectfully disagree.’”

Cantor said Republicans should ‘demand’ the new joint committee focus exclusively on spending cuts.”

Cantor also predicted fundamental reform of entitlements will have to wait until after the 2012 elections, and cited Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) comments on Fox News Sunday lowering expectations for the joint committee.”

Speaker John Boehner also reiterated his opposition to tax hikes.”

“‘Just as both parties contributed to our unsustainable debt, both parties must work now to cut spending,’ the Ohio Republican said.”

“Outside advocates for a large deficit reduction package tried to use the downgrade as a spur for compromise that would include big entitlement changes and new tax revenue.”

Former Senate Budget Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and former White House Office of Management and Budget Director Alice Rivlin, co-chairmen of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force, sent a letter to leaders of both parties urging them to deal with both revenue and entitlements, as well as pass a large upfront payroll tax cut to spur the economy through the new joint committee.

“‘This committee has a historic opportunity to come to a broad bipartisan solution that will control debt and ensure America’s future prosperity,’ they wrote.”