State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Toomey dusts off super committee proposal for cliff talks

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Dec 3, 2012 10:55 PM
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The state’s junior U.S. Senator is working on attracting bipartisan support for a plan to avert the fiscal cliff.

Republican Pat Toomey said the framework is based on what he proposed while serving on the so-called congressional “super committee” to reduce the national deficit last year. That panel failed to reach a consensus, which triggered the 2013 automatic spending cuts and tax hikes involved in the fiscal cliff. But Toomey said he’s pushing for his super committee proposal once more.

“I think there is broad support for an approach like mine on the Republican side of the aisle and I’m going to continue with personal one-on-one meetings with Democratic senators that this is a viable way to make some progress,” said Toomey Monday.

“Actually, some [Democrats] are outright in support and… at such time as we would want to go public, they are prepared to disclose their support,” Toomey added. “Most are much more cautious, but interested.”

Toomey’s plan included the prospect of higher revenues but also spending cuts and limiting tax deductions. He said he can get on board with the president’s insistence that revenue should be raised, but that it should be done with what he calls “pro-growth tax reform.”

Toomey’s plan, by some reports, was seen as the beginning of the end of negotiations on the super committee last year. But Toomey said the president’s own proposal wasn’t serious, and Republicans won’t support higher tax rates for the wealthy unless other specific compromises follow.

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