State Leaders Weigh in on Supercommittee Failure
Around the State
The failure of the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction -- also known as the supercommittee -- to reach an agreement on debt reduction is spilling over into the Sunshine State as two of Florida’s leading politicians weighed in on the matter, taking potshots at each other's political parties.
Gov. Rick Scott released a statement on the failed congressional deficit reduction talks late on Monday.
“It is unfortunate that after months of debate the congressional ‘supercommittee’ charged with finding $1.2 trillion in budget savings failed to make the difficult choices needed to begin fixing our nation’s out-of-control debt,” said Scott. “This news, coupled with the recent failure of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a federal balanced budget amendment, should cause all Americans to be concerned about the direction our country is heading.
“As a new grandfather, I am deeply disturbed by the $15 trillion bill we will leave behind for our grandchildren if nothing is done to curb spending in Washington,” added Scott. “Congress and the president need only look to the states to find ways to get spending under control in order to help create opportunities for jobs and economic growth for all Americans and generations to come.”
Scott drew fire from state Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich, D-Weston, who released a statement later on Monday night.
“It was extremely disappointing to read Republican Governor Rick Scott’s statement on the breakdown of ‘supercommittee’ talks. They stalled because of Democrats’ refusal to agree to more concessions for the wealthiest Americans – and allow another hit to the middle and working classes,” said Rich who, like Scott, referred to her grandchildren. “As a grandmother of three, I, too, share the concern for our grandchildren. The Republican agenda has left a heavy burden on our children and the children that follow. Florida has been at the epicenter for failed economic policies that have come at the expense of working Floridians.
“If Governor Scott is serious, he might begin by admitting the GOP economic policies have not worked for the vast majority of Floridians; that his catering to the wealthiest corporations does nothing to create well-paying jobs; and that gutting spending for the basics, including education, health care and safety nets for our most vulnerable fails to justify Republican lopsided priorities,” said Rich in closing. “A balanced approach to the budget, whether in Tallahassee or Washington, should be done in a way that helps our economy to grow, and asks those who have benefited the most, to pay their fair share.”
Rich was not the only legislator to weigh in on the breakdown of the committee.
“Wow, the supercommittee failed to reach an agreement ... what a surprise!” Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday morning. “President Obama has his own agenda."