What's so special about the SUPER COMMITTEE?

Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 H.R. 5872


One Hundred Twelfth Congress



of the



United States of America





Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,

the third day of January, two thousand and twelve

An Act

To require the President to provide a report detailing the sequester required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on January 2, 2013.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,



This Act may be cited as the ‘Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012’.



(a) In General- Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to Congress a detailed report on the sequestration required to be ordered by paragraphs (7)(A) and (8) of section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901a) for fiscal year 2013 on January 2, 2013.

(b) Contents of Report- The report required by subsection (a) shall include--

(1) for discretionary appropriations--

(A) an estimate for each category of the sequestration percentages and amounts necessary to achieve the required reduction; and

(B)(i) for accounts that are funded pursuant to an enacted regular appropriation bill for fiscal year 2013, an identification of each account to be sequestered and estimates of the level of sequestrable budgetary resources and resulting reductions at the program, project, and activity level based upon the enacted level of appropriations; and

(ii) for accounts that have not been funded pursuant to an enacted regular appropriation bill for fiscal year 2013, an identification of each account to be sequestered and estimates pursuant to a continuing resolution at a rate of operations as provided in the applicable appropriation Act for fiscal year 2012 of the level of sequestrable budgetary resources and resulting reductions at the program, project, and activity level;

(2) for direct spending--

(A) an estimate for the defense and nondefense functions based on current law of the sequestration percentages and amount necessary to achieve the required reduction; and

(B) an identification of the reductions required for each nonexempt direct spending account at the program, project, and activity level;

(3) an identification of all exempt discretionary accounts and of all exempt direct spending accounts; and

(4) any other data and explanations that enhance public understanding of the sequester and actions to be taken under it.

(c) Agency Assistance- (1) Upon the request of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (in assisting the President in the preparation of the report under subsection (a)), the head of each agency, after consultation with the chairs and ranking members of the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall promptly provide to the Director information at the program, project, and activity level necessary for the Director to prepare the report under subsection (a).

(2) As used in this subsection, the term ‘agency’ means any executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.

Find more information


Super committee's failure = super chance in 2012

Congress forces W.H. to lay out sequester cuts 

How Sequestration Would Work

Sequestration and the IDEA


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Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:47pm

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich

Published: August 14, 2011

OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.


While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.


These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.


Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.


If you make money with money, as some of my super-rich friends do, your percentage may be a bit lower than mine. But if you earn money from a job, your percentage will surely exceed mine — most likely by a lot.


To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these revenues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes. The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.




Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:44pm

Tea Party group forms its own 'super committee


Posted on Wed Sep 21 2011 11:25:02 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time) by Libloather


(By: CNN's Kevin Liptak)


Washington (CNN) - As the congressional "super committee" works in Washington to cut America's federal debt, a panel of tea party activists will meet at a Denny's restaurant in Orlando to propose their own debt solutions.


The gathering, convened by the large conservative political group FreedomWorks, will meet Sept. 23, coinciding with the Florida Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual meeting of right-leaning politicians.


"FreedomWorks believes that President Obama's 'super-committee' will inevitably fall prey to special interest groups, shutting American taxpayers out of the discussion on how to reduce spending and balance the budget," FreedomWorks said in a statement. "The Tea Party Debt Commission was created to give the American people a platform to be heard, and to propose specific cuts to the federal budget."


"The committee's goal is to create a budget plan that balances the federal budget within 10 years; reduces federal spending to 18 percent of GDP; reduces the national debt to no more than 66 percent of GDP; reduces federal spending by at least $9 trillion over 10 years (including $300 billion in the first year); and does not raise taxes," the group said in their statement.

(Excerpt) Read more at politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com ...

Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:43pm

Vitter Introduces Bill to Bring Transparency to Super Committee Members' Campaign Cash


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has introduced the Super Committee Sunshine Act immediately following the passage of the debt limit increase. Vitter’s bill would force members of the newly created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “super committee,” to disclose their campaign donations of more than $1000 while they are appointed committee members.

“Given the important work this committee will be doing over the next four months, it’s just plain good government for the public to know what special interests are trying to influence the committee,” Vitter said. “We’re talking trillions in cuts, and there are already threats to increase taxes on many job creators. We need to see full transparency and accountability because these committee members will be making huge decisions with a lot on the line.”

Under current law, the Federal Elections Committee requires candidates to disclose their fundraising every 48 hours during the 12 days before a primary and 12 days before a general election. The Vitter bill would apply the 48-hour disclosure requirement to members who are appointed to the super committee created under the Budget Control Act. They would have to disclose funds raised by both the member’s campaign and their leadership PACs every 48 hours from their appointment to the committee until January 21, 2012, which is when the super committee expires.

Sen. Vitter voted no on the Budget Control Act


Personally I consider this info fluff. They should be monitored and about much more than just their campaign donations.

Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:41pm

PACs Contribute $83K to Super Committee Members


By Susanna Kim Oct 7, 2011 11:30am

ap dave camp nt 111007 wblog PACs Contribute $83K to Super Committee Members

Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., arrives for a closed-door meeting of the super committee, Oct. 4, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Harry Hamburg/AP Photo)

Members of the Congressional “super committee” received over $83,000 from lobbying groups in the three weeks after being appointed to make $1.2 trillion in budget cuts.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit Sunlight Foundation reported that 19 political action committees, or PACs, of organizations such as Lockheed Martin, the National Association of Realtors, Pfizer and Chevron gave to 10 committee members.

The super committee, officially called the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, is comprised of six Democrats and six Republicans. It is tasked with approving at least $1.2 trillion in budget cuts as part of the deficit reduction deal passed by Congress in August.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., were the only members who did not receive contributions, according to filings from the Federal Election Commission.

The PAC of pharmaceutical company Pfizer reportedly gave the highest amount, $10,000, to super committee members.

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin contributed to the most super committee members: Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. ($2,500), the leadership PAC of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Campaign for our Country ($2,500), Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. ($1,000), and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio ($2,000).

The majority of the committee’s gatherings have been private. The committee had its last public meeting Sept. 22 and they are scheduled to agree upon a plan by Nov. 23. Their plan will not have amendments in either chamber of Congress and will require only 51 votes in the Senate for approval, as opposed to the traditional 60 for cloture.

The committee members who had received contributions, or their PACs received donations, were:

1. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.: $26,500

2. Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.: $15,000

3. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.:$10,000

4. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.: $9,000

5. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.: $8,930

6. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.: $5,000

7. Sen. Rob Portma, R-Ohio: $4,500

8. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex.:$3,000

9. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.: $1,000

10. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.: $1,000


Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:39pm

Pelosi picks last names for debt 'super-committee'


11 August 2011 Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi lost her post as House speaker in the November Republican rout

The House Democratic leader has named the final three members to a bipartisan "super-committee" tasked with finding a way out of the US debt crisis.

Nancy Pelosi's picks fill out the 12-member panel, split between Democrats and Republicans.

The panel will have until 3 November to recommend a plan to trim $1.5tn (£930bn) from the deficit in 10 years.

The joint House-Senate panel was created as part of a deficit reduction and debt limit law enacted last week.


Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:38pm

Debt committee: Market reaction a big unknown


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Given how volatile markets have become, predicting how traders will react to the congressional debt committee next week is a dicey undertaking.

Two themes emerged in conversations with stock and bond strategists. First, Wall Street never expected much from the committee, thanks to the disastrous debt ceiling debate. Second, markets don't expect lawmakers to make meaningful decisions on fiscal reform until after the 2012 election.

But that doesn't mean the super committee can't move traders to fears ... or cheers.

The committee, by law, is supposed to vote on a plan by next Wednesday.

If the panel simply approves $1.2 trillion in debt reduction -- its minimum target to stave off automatic cuts in 2013 -- the market reaction will be "a great big yawn," said Adrian Conje, chief investment officer of Balentine, an investment advisory firm.

That deal, in other words, has been factored into stock traders' considerations.

A $1.2 trillion plan is considered small relative to what's needed but it could give markets a lift if it seems to demonstrate the start of real compromise between Democrats and Republicans on revenue increases and entitlement cuts, said John Toohey, vice president of equity investments at USAA.

Debt committee: Deal or no deal, then what?


Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:34pm

Super Committee Members Assign Blame As Deadline Approaches


WASHINGTON -- Increasingly gripped by stalemate, Republicans and Democrats on a congressional deficit-reduction supercommittee now seem to be devoting more time to assigning blame than working through the sharp differences that divide them.

Despite small steps in recent weeks toward addressing core solutions to the nation's intractable deficit problem, such as new taxes and curbs on the growth of enormously expensive government benefit programs, both sides said further progress had come to a halt.

Less than a week remains before a Thanksgiving deadline for the panel to vote on a plan cutting deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over a decade. Whatever remaining hope there was appeared to have washed away Wednesday after both Democrats and Republicans on the 12-member panel traded rhetorical salvos about whether the other side was negotiating in good faith.

"We need to find out whether our Republican colleagues want to continue to negotiate or whether they've drawn a hard line in the sand," supercommittee Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said. "The question is whether they've kind of said, `Take it or leave it.'"

"What I've yet to see is a plan that fundamentally solves the problem," Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the panel's top Republican, told reporters.

With the talks at a standstill, Democratic officials familiar with the panel's work leaked a nearly week-old secret counteroffer that generally accepted a Republican framework for a $1.5 trillion compromise, while differing on numerous key details.

Democrats signaled a willingness to cut spending by $876 billion, including $225 billion from Medicare and $50 billion from Medicaid, these officials said, and raise tax revenue by $400 billion, far less than they had demanded earlier.

But they also wanted to take $700 billion in savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay for a $300 billion jobs program along the lines President Barack Obama wants, plus take steps to protect the upper middle class from the alternative minimum tax and extend financing for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

The leak of the Democratic offer seemed aimed at rebutting claims by Republicans that Democrats had not responded seriously to a GOP offer last week in which, for the first time, Republicans proposed new tax revenues.


Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:32pm

A Massive Domino Effect Could Await Super Committee's Failure


by Trish Turner | November 21, 2011

Consider the impact -- the Super Committee co-chairs still have not agreed on a way to put this whole debt reduction effort out of its misery (and that's the expectation now: failure). But the ramifications of failure so far have largely gone unnoticed.

The thinking now seems to be to announce something after the markets close Monday, even though the markets don't seem to care and have already absorbed this failure.

But here at the end of the congressional session, Congress has only approved three of 13 annual spending bills. They'll be focused on that even moreso now, especially given that the current continuing resolution that keeps government running expires on Dec. 16.

Congress is also going to need to deal with extending the expiring payroll tax holiday that was in the original stimulus bill. It will need to renew expiring unemployment insurance benefits, though some conservative Republicans have called for reforming that system first.

It will need to stop the doctors receiving Medicare payments from being hit with a whopping cut  -- something on the order of 25 percent -- to their federal government reimbursement payments. (This is the annual "doctor fix" fight.)

As well, Congress will need to "patch" the Alternative Minimum Tax, so middle class taxpayers aren't swallowed up by it.

And if that weren't a long enough list, Congress must also deal with a host of other tax breaks that need to be extended (research and development and other items critical to businesses). This is the so-called "tax extenders" fight that happens each year.

Here's the clincher -- since the Super Committee's debt deal bill was supposed to be the legislative vehicle for all of this -- uh, what now?

Technically, Congress cannot legislate on appropriations bills, but high vote hurdles could be overcome to do this. If enough members want to block something, they stand a better chance here.

Lawmakers could turn to a defense policy bill -- called the defense authorization bill that's currently on the Senate floor -- to deal with some of the backup, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can't afford to spend much time on that bill.

Add to that the lawmakers who insist on finding offsets for all this. Though many inside and outside the Super Committee, namely Republicans, were willing to go along with using a war account called the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO -- called "oko" like Yoko) -- money from winding down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, they'll be less willing to do so now. Republicans and some Democrats generally refer to that kind of budget savings as "gimmicks."

With about one month to go on the legislative calendar, the Super Committee's failure is an even bigger deal than it would seem on its face.

Read more: http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/11/21/massive-domino-effect-...


Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:32pm

Super Committee Post 11/24/11



Uploaded by  on Nov 21, 2011

Comment by Sojourner on February 3, 2013 at 1:30pm

Farm Bill 2012 and the Super Committee Process


It really does look like they’re trying to write the 2012 Farm Bill in the next week or so through the Super Committee Process, though it seems like the Agriculture Committees are having a difficult time finding common ground. If the Ag Committees can’t get it together, the chances that the Super Committee can seem remote, which may mean we’re headed for ‘sequestration’ (across the board cuts). At least there, we will have the potential for input on what is cut and what is not.  The following is from the National Farmers Union, via ‘Ohio Farmer’:

House Ag Chair Admits Pulling Farm Bill Together a Tall Order: Nov. 1 is the date the leaders of the Agriculture Committees have circled to get a detailed list of 2012 Farm Policy suggestions to the deficit reduction Super Committee. Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Ranking Member Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; and House Agriculture Chair Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., are working to come up with $23 billion in savings from ag programs to contribute to the $1.2 trillion the Super Committee is tasked with finding. “We’ve been in discussions about how you would turn that into real policy,” Lucas said.  Read more…

Check out these former posts for more information on this subject (http://www.beginningfarmers.org/farm-bill-to-be-written-in-two-week...http://www.beginningfarmers.org/joint-agriculture-committee-letter-...http://www.beginningfarmers.org/farm-bill-priorities-and-the-super-..., and feel free to leave a comment (click the comment link above) or contact me at beginningfarmers@gmail.com if you have questions or input on this issue…

Read more @BeginningFarmers.org


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