Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gave the following statement on the failure of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach a compromise:
“The American people are tired of their elected leaders listening to the extreme voices in their party instead of the voices of reason. I am disappointed that Republicans never found the courage to ignore Tea Party extremists and millionaire lobbyists like Grover Norquist, and listen instead to the overwhelming majority of Americans – including the vast majority of Republicans – who want a balanced approach to deficit reduction. For the good of our country, Democrats were prepared to strike a grand bargain that would make painful cuts while asking millionaires to pay their fair share, and we put our willingness on paper. But Republicans never came close to meeting us halfway.
“Instead, Republicans relentlessly sought to end Medicare as we know it by privatizing the program and putting seniors and future generations at the mercy of insurance companies. In addition, Republicans insisted on expanding President Bush’s tax giveaways to millionaires, an approach that would have made our deficit problems bigger, not smaller, while increasing the gap between the top one percent of taxpayers and everyone else. Democrats are open to reforming our tax code, but we will not go along with efforts to provide even more giveaways to millionaires at the expense of the middle class.”