GOP Deficit Panel Roster Set: What Are The Chances For A Deal?
Top Republicans have named their choices from the House and Senate to serve on the 'super committee.' These six lawmakers now join three Senate Democrats on the list - leaving only House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's picks unknown. As the panel takes shape, questions are emerging about whether the group will be able to find the necessary spending cuts.
The New York Times: 6 Republicans Named To Deficit Panel
The top Republicans in the House and the Senate appointed six lawmakers on Wednesday to a powerful new Congressional committee that is supposed to find ways to reduce federal budget deficits by at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Two of the Republican appointees have a history of working with Democrats. The panel, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, is supposed to come up with recommendations by Nov. 23. If it fails, or if its proposals are not enacted, the government will automatically cut spending across the board to ensure savings (Pear, 8/10).
Los Angeles Times: GOP Announces Its Budget Deficit 'Super Committee' Selections
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday appointed Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, a conservative leader, as co-chairman. He also named Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Fred Upton, also from Michigan, who is chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and a former budget officer in the Reagan administration. In the Senate, GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky tapped Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the chamber's No. 2 Republican. McConnell also chose Rob Portman of Ohio, who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush, and anti-tax stalwart Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania. Democratic Sens. Patty Murray of Washington, Max Baucus of Montana and John F. Kerry of Massachusetts were appointed Tuesday. Murray, who will be the co-chairwoman, is also head of the party's campaign committee. All three Democrats are viewed as seasoned, but often partisan, deal brokers. As chairman of the Finance Committee, Baucus has a working relationship with Camp on tax issues (Mascaro, 8/10).
The Wall Street Journal: Republicans Set Debt-Panel Roster
Republican House and Senate leaders named six conservative diehards Wednesday to the new deficit-cutting committee, but the appointees' histories suggested they might be open to striking a deal with Democrats. These members now join the Democrats appointed by Mr. Reid - Ms. Murray and Sens. Max Baucus of Montana and John Kerry of Massachusetts. All these members have close ties to their party leaders. The committee's chances of reaching an ambitious agreement may depend as much on whether the leaders want one as on the internal workings of the panel itself. Mr. Hensarling and Ms. Murray will lead the committee (Bendavid, 8/11).
Politico: Super Committee Lineup Gives Hope For Deal
As markets continue to rise and dive in a post-downgrade free-for-all and lawmakers face angst-ridden constituents on the town hall circuit, Capitol Hill is looking at the lineup of the new deficit reduction "super committee" as a critical chance to prove Congress can function during a crisis. The roster is nearly set, and veteran political analysts say the picks made so far show a seriousness of purpose from Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate and House, giving a glimmer of hope that there could be a breakthrough deal this year (Allen, 8/10).
The Fiscal Times: 'Super' Committee Takes Shape Amid Economic Crisis
Noticeably missing from the committee is House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the chief architect of the House Republicans deficit reduction strategy, including a controversial proposal to convert Medicare to a government subsidized voucher program ... In a statement, Ryan said he asked the Speaker not to choose him so he could focus on reforming the budget process (Pianin and Ryan, 8/10).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Congress' Super Committee Faces Warring Pressures To Follow Party Ideology, Find Big Debt Cuts
Members of both parties said the job of whittling down the government's enormous debt was urgent, yet critics expressed little hope that the bipartisan panel would be able to overcome stark political divides. "It's not going to be simple to come to a deal," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which advocates balanced budgets and a larger package of savings. She said greater debt-reduction would require addressing the entire budget, meaning both parties would have to yield - Republicans in their opposition to revenue increases and Democrats in their resistance to trimming benefits from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (Fram, 8/11).
Houston Chronicle: Dallas Republican Hensarling Named Co-Chair Of Deficit Panel
A longtime deficit hawk from Texas known for his refusal to seek pork-barrel projects was picked Wednesday to co-chair the congressional "super committee" designed to reduce the federal deficit. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, will serve as a co-chair with Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington who was chosen by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. A protege of former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, whom he served as state director and campaign manager, Hensarling has made federal spending cuts a top policy priority since first winning election to Congress in 2002 (French, 8/10).
Politico Pro: Health Industry Worries Over Debt Group Picks
With all but three players in place on the congressional super committee, lobbyists for the health care sector say party leaders got the right mix of policy wonks, but may have handcuffed the group with their political picks. "Basically, we knew coming into this that it was going to be an uphill battle to find a compromise, and that the nominees would be coming from the same gene pool as those who ran the debt limit debate right up to the wire," said John Shepard, a health care analyst with MF Global. "I don't think seeing the actual names changes much." On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner tapped House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas to serve as co-chairman of the supercommittee, and named Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, both of Michigan, to the panel (Dobias, 8/10).
Related KHN coverage: FAQ: 'Super Committee' Could Have Big Impact On Medicare, Medicaid Spending (Carey and Galewitz, updated 8/10).
Kaiser Health News also tracked Wednesday's headlines after the GOP selections were made.
Meanwhile, on the campaign trail -
ABC: Rep. Ron Paul Campaign In Iowa With Son Sen. Rand Paul In Tow
ABC News asked Congressman Paul about President Obama's view that spending cuts alone can't fix American's long term deficit situation, and that we need to also look at increasing revenue. "We need to know what the role of government ought to be -- Obama probably endorses entitlements as rights," said Ron Paul. "We can get there - we can cut entitlements." Senator Rand Paul took the microphone and said "Democrats have to admit that entitlements and welfare need to be reformed. Social spending needs to go down and Republicans need to admit that military spending needs to go down. They say the Tea Party won't compromise - we will compromise." When pressed by ABC News if there would be long term deficit deal by this Congress - Ron Paul says there will be something - but it will have no meaning. "It will not reassure the markets - it will not cause us to have a strong dollar and it will not revive the economy," he said (Volcak, 8/11).