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Rep. Maxine Waters, Black Caucus blast debt deal


Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) blasted President Barack Obama’s brokered deal to raise the debt ceiling, insisting “the rich will feel no pain and the vulnerable will pay for their spoils.”

“The cuts will be deep, they will be lasting, and they will weaken an already-depressed economy,” Waters said during a House floor speech against the “Budget Control Act” or 2011 Debt Ceiling Deal.

After weeks of high-stakes wrangling, President Obama and congressional leaders hammered out a deal to raise the government’s debt ceiling while cutting spending about $2.4 trillion, and that will avoid a government default. But some say the deal sets the stage for a new round of fierce debates.

House Democrats including members of the Congressional Black Caucus expressed outrage at the White House for how it handled the debt ceiling negotiations, claiming the administration caved to the GOP and left them in the dark. “Our negotiators weren’t tough enough,” Rep. Waters said.

“They didn’t do the work.”

Waters and other Progressives have been steaming for months after they were largely left out of the negotiations to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and craft policy on long-term government funding.

Congressional Black Caucus chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) railed against the deal accusing the administration of taking their support for granted, ignoring their policy concerns and bowing to the demands of Republicans without putting up much of a fight.

Cleaver told the online Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that the deal was a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich.”

“What you see is antithetical to everything the religions of the world teach: take care of the poor, take care of the aged.”

Crafted largely by Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the proposal locks in roughly $1 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years.

Congressional leaders would then appoint a bipartisan panel to identify roughly $2 trillion in additional deficit reduction efforts over the same span. If it fails, then automatic cuts of the same level would kick in–including steep reductions in military and Medicare spending.