Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement regarding press reports that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction would be unable to come up with a deficit-reduction agreement, triggering $1.2 trillion in automatic defense and domestic spending cuts:
“The supercommittee failed to reach an agreement for one simple reason: Republicans refused to examine the enormous number of wasteful spending program in the tax code and insisted on reduced taxes for the best off in our society. That put the full weight of cuts on budget programs that help working families. That is just wrong.
“The best way out of our deficit is to grow our economy and put Americans back to work. The Congressional Budget Office earlier this year estimated that our annual deficit would be one-third lower if unemployment was 5%. Every proposal for reducing the deficit should be put to the test of whether it creates or destroys jobs. We cannot be in the practice of driving deeper into the ditch. Our top priority must be to put our economy back on track.”