Six Democrats and six Republicans have to find $1.2 trillion in cuts in federal spending by Nov. 23. (WRDW-TV / Nov. 20, 2011)
News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011
AIKEN, S.C. -- It was a packed house at Houndslake Country Club in Aiken Saturday.
"This is a real tribute to the Aiken County Republican Party. We have two-thirds of our delegation here," said Congressman Joe Wilson, R-S.C.
Wilson was in his district Saturday night, and several of his colleagues from Washington joined him. Congressmen Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy and Tim Scott were there, but their Democratic colleague Jim Clyburn wasn't.
Clyburn has a very special assignment right now.
"Indeed, on the supercommittee is Congressman Jim Clyburn, and I do want to point out that we work together," Wilson said.
Wilson explains that when Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling a few months ago, it created the supercommittee that Clyburn now serves on.
"They're tasked to come up with nearly $2 trillion in budget cuts. There's a real challenge to do this," Wilson told News 12.
Six Democrats and six Republicans have to find $1.2 trillion in cuts in federal spending by Nov. 23. If they don't, a program named sequestration automatically begins.
"Well, the sequestration is really, I think, dangerous, because it will result in cutting our defense budget around $600 billion," Wilson said.
He says that sequestration will have a huge negative impact in his district and across the river.
"This will have a direct impact at the Savannah River Site. This will have a direct impact at Fort Gordon and other military facilities throughout our region," he said.
But as the clock ticks down, he and the other congressmen hope compromise can arise.
"This is one time that we can have a positive example of bipartisanship," Wilson said.
Wilson said he and the other Republicans there Saturday night want compromise, but they don't want to raise taxes. He says that Congress can find other cuts without having to raise taxes. Of course, the deadline to get all that done is Nov. 23.