After weeks of negotiating in secrecy, the “super committee” on deficit reduction has allowed its proposals to spill into the open in a display of partisanship that shows how far apart Congress remains in striking a deal.

Republicans offered a $2.2-trillion package of steep spending cuts but gave no ground on their resistance to new taxes, congressional aides said Thursday. The proposal was a counter to the “grand bargain” that Democrats put on the table — as much as $3 trillion in spending cuts and new taxes on wealthier households.

The GOP response proposed cutting corporate and individual tax rates to spur economic growth and bring in $200 billion in new revenue. They also proposed selling government assets and slashing $1.2 trillion from spending, including cuts to Medicare beneficiaries and providers.

With less than a month remaining to reach an agreement, both sides dismissed the other’s offer as a nonstarter. A Democratic aide called the GOP plan “a joke.” Republicans said Democrats’ insistence on new taxes was “not a serious proposal.” Talks could continue over the weekend.

Continue reading →