Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday predicted the supercommittee will fail to reach a deficit deal.
Schumer also said it would be the GOP’s fault for insisting that no tax hikes be included with measures to cut spending and entitlements.
“I don't think ... the supercommittee is going to succeed because our Republican colleagues have said no net revenues,” Schumer, who handles messaging for Senate Democrats, said Monday on MSNBC. “The American people are beginning to sniff this. They're beginning to sniff that the other side has dug in and is not compromising."
Schumer's comments are noteworthy given his position as a Senate Democratic leader and the caucus's messaging guru. His comments may be an early effort at spinning blame if the supercommittee fails.
Schumer's comments drew a critical response from a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) who knocked Schumer for his "ideological addiction" to raising taxes. Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Republicans were working to find an agreement.
"So, while we oppose tax hikes (because tax hikes destroy jobs — as even President Obama has acknowledged), Republicans, including Speaker Boehner, have been clear that they are not opposed to increased revenue as a result of tax reforms that lead to economic growth," Steel wrote in an email sent to reporters.
The comments from Schumer and reaction from Boehner's office highlight the tensions surrounding the supercommittee's work as it nears its deadline.
Democrats have sought to portray themselves as more interested in a compromise than Republicans, and Schumer on Monday said his party was willing to move to the middle by supporting proposals to slow down the growth of entitlement programs.
"I don't think we should be asking for an extension," Van Hollen said. "More time won't get us there unless we're really, really close, but no, we're not asking for an extension."
The supercommittee's failure would trigger hundreds of billions in cuts to national security programs, a prospect members in both parties loath. It would also trigger cuts to nondefense spending.
—This story was posted at 9:05 a.m. and updated at 12:15 p.m.