OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington’s U.S. Senator Patty Murray will co-chair the powerful “super committee” tasked with coming up with more than a trillion dollars in budget savings for the federal government.
Wednesday at a news conference in Seattle, Murray pledged to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats on the committee.
She dodged questions on raising taxes or cutting entitlement or social programs like social security or Medicare. “I don’t believe that any of us, and I hope that none of us, draw lines in the sand before we even have an opportunity to sit down,” said Murray.
She did say she will try to protect workers who are struggling to survive the tough economic times. “To make sure the American public that has suffered the most in this recession, tough economic time, are given their ability to get on their feet and back on track again and our country can invest in the right places,” Murray said.
Meanwhile, former Oregon U.S. Senator Bob Packwood predicted the committee will fail and congress will be forced to re-write the law to keep automatic cuts from taking place in the federal budget.
“One of two things is gonna happen,” Packwood said. “Either they won’t be able to agree, or if they do agree, one house or the other will turn down what they’ve agreed to,” he said.
“I think what will happen as we get into the next deadline, the law will be changed and the big cuts won’t go into effect,” said Packwood.
Packwood served 26 years in the U.S. Senate and chaired the Senate Finance Committee in 1986. That same year he was credited with a plan that raised taxes on businesses by $120-billion over five years and lowered personal income taxes by the same amount.