AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Democrats should be prepared to walk away from a bad deficit deal even if the consequence is a far-reaching penalty that would likely cost a huge number of jobs.
“They shouldn’t agree to anything that’s a bad deal,” Trumka told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast roundtable. He warned Democrats against voting for any Super Committee plan that cuts Social Security and lets wealthy Americans off the hook by not raising their taxes. But voting no comes with consequences. If the committee gridlocks or passes a plan that fails in Congress, it will trigger $1.2 trillion in spending cuts split evenly between defense and domestic programs.
Those cuts would harm the economy, Trumka admitted: “If the trigger hits there’ll be a couple million jobs lost in this country,” he said.
His remarks echo former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold who, along with his group Progressives United, will pressure Democrats to abandon any Super Committee proposal that doesn’t meet his own basic test of fairness.
Get the day’s best political analysis, news and reporting from the TPM team delivered to your inbox every day with DayBreaker. Sign up here, it takes just a few seconds.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.