“Super Committee” members named
All of the Members of Congress that will serve on the so-called “Super Committee,” the group created as part of the debt deal between the White House and Congress to find $1.5 trillion in “deficit reduction” in the coming months, have been made public:
The top Republicans in the House and the Senate appointed six more lawmakers on Wednesday to the bipartisan committee that is supposed to recommend steps to reduce federal budget deficits by at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
Speaker John A. Boehner chose three senior Republican House members: Jeb Hensarling of Texas, and Dave Camp and Fred Upton, both of Michigan.
Mr. Hensarling, who is chairman of the House Republican Conference, will be co-chairman of the new panel, along with Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington.
The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, chose Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona, Rob Portman of Ohio and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania for the 12-member panel.
As noted, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who hasn’t been one to restrain spending, was named by Senate Majority Harry Reid. She will serve with Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Max Baucus (D-MT). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named her picks today:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has selected Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) for the so-called “supercommittee” on Thursday.
As AJC columnist Kyle Wingfield noted on Twitter earlier today, those picks indicate that Pelosi is less interested in a deal than the other leaders in the House. Not surprising since House Democrats balked at cuts to entitlements during the discussion over the so-called “Grand Bargain.”
Interestingly, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) asked not to be included on the committee. But I do like the appointment of Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). They not always perfect, but they are reasonable voices and should be able to come up with a sensible solution. For example, Toomey, who has a business background, has already suggested some ideas:
[H]e hopes to reform the tax code in order to broaden the base while lowering rates and growing the economy. “That will also generate more revenue,” he said. “A stronger economy always does.”
Major tax reform, Toomey suggested, would be difficult to achieve in the short period of time the committee will have to produce an agreement (by Nov. 23), but pointed to his recent vote to eliminate ethanol tax subsidies, which he called “indefensible,” saying that there are “a lot of opportunities in the tax code to make it much more sensible and in a way that encourages economic growth.”
But like I’ve said, don’t hold your breath. Future Congresses will likely wipe away whatever spending cuts are agreed to in a couple years.