Harry Reid Picks His Three Super Congress Members

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We really should have made a fantasy league for this. Couldn't have been any geekier than the sports ones...:icon_mrgr
Harry Reid super committee picks in place

By MANU RAJU & JOHN BRESNAHAN | 8/9/11 5:30 PM EDT

In the first of what will be a closely watched selection process for a powerful new deficit panel, Democratic sources say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will appoint Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Max Baucus (Mont.) and John Kerry (Mass.) as his three choices for a super committee charged with finding more than $1 trillion in spending cuts by the end of this year.

Murray will serve as co-chair of the 12-member panel. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will select a co-chair and two other panelists, as required by the next debt limit agreement signed into law by President Barack Obama last week. Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell will each select three additional members.

Reid’s three picks, to be formally announced on Wednesday, are intended to show the Nevada Democrat is serious about forging a bipartisan deal to head off $1.2 trillion in spending cuts required under the debt deal. The super committee was Reid’s contribution to the bipartisan agreement to end the debt limit fight.

Murray is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and close to Reid and the rest of the Senate Democratic leadership. Baucus is the chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, while Kerry - the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee - has been lobbying for a spot.

Reid and Pelosi had been considering whether to install candidates who will draw a hard-line against deep entitlement cuts, particularly if Republicans don’t bend on new taxes. The Democratic leaders want loyalists who won’t give the panel majority support for a cuts-only approach, which could target popular programs like Medicare and Social Security.

“The number one criteria should be someone who fights for revenues and if Republicans continue to rule out revenues, then the Democrats have to play proper defense in response,” said a senior Democratic aide.

In an email sent to her colleagues Monday evening, Pelosi said her caucus was committed to “protecting” Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security - and said that the new panel should deliberate in public settings so that it achieves a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction.

“Many of you have expressed your interest in serving on the Joint Committee,” Pelosi told her colleagues. “I have and will be reaching out to each of you before making any decision.”

Leaders have until next week to announce their picks for the closely watched panel, although Reid’s opening move is expected to speed up that process.

The membership will be crucial, since any deal that receives a majority support will be fast-tracked through the House and Senate for consideration before year’s end.

All four party leaders face internal politics as they try to choose members who will both represent their caucus’ interests and try to show a level of seriousness amid a fiscal crisis that led Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history. And the appointees must be able to withstand withering criticism from their bases if they cut a compromise deal - or public outrage if they fail to reach an accord at a time of historic deficits.

Many Hill insiders believe vulnerable lawmakers won’t be appointed to the politically charged panel.

While most of McConnell’s GOP caucus is deadset against raising revenues, even by keeping income tax rates the same and eliminating preferences in the tax code, Reid has a much more diverse collection of colleagues, which made it more challenging for him to find members who will stay loyal to the party while also trying to cut an effective deal.

Reid also has to defend 23 Democratic-controlled Senate seats in 2012, versus only 10 for McConnell.

Democratic insiders said Reid came “under pressure” from several fronts - first, progressive and liberal members want at least one of their own named to the joint panel in order to ensure that their positions on spending and entitlement cuts are factored into any final recommendations.

“What I don’t like is revenues not being part of it, and I’m going to fight to make sure it’s included” in the super committee, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said last week.

Many Hill insiders believe vulnerable lawmakers won’t be appointed to the politically charged panel.

While most of McConnell’s GOP caucus is deadset against raising revenues, even by keeping income tax rates the same and eliminating preferences in the tax code, Reid has a much more diverse collection of colleagues, which made it more challenging for him to find members who will stay loyal to the party while also trying to cut an effective deal.

Reid also has to defend 23 Democratic-controlled Senate seats in 2012, versus only 10 for McConnell.

Democratic insiders said Reid came “under pressure” from several fronts - first, progressive and liberal members want at least one of their own named to the joint panel in order to ensure that their positions on spending and entitlement cuts are factored into any final recommendations.

“What I don’t like is revenues not being part of it, and I’m going to fight to make sure it’s included” in the super committee, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said last week.

By choosing Baucus, Reid may unnerve some liberals who have been skeptical of the Montana Democrat’s deal-making with Republicans over the years. But Baucus also has held the party line on raising revenues and attacking GOP budget plans to overhaul Medicare, a role he played in the budget talks with Vice President Joe Biden.

And by choosing Murray, the DSCC chief, Reid opens himself up to GOP criticism for choosing the Democratic senator whose foremost concern is 2012 Senate politics heading into a daunting election year.

“It is shocking that Harry Reid appointed his chief fundraiser to a committee that will be the central focus of every lobbyist in town,” said one Republican official.

Kerry, who has drawn fire from the right for calling S&P’s move a “tea party downgrade,” has been eager to add to his Senate resume a sweeping domestic achievement.

Noticeably absent from Reid’s choices are the three Democrats who served as part of the bipartisan Gang of Six who proposed a sweeping budget deal, which the majority leader never embraced.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Reid’s top deputy and Gang of Six member, signaled his interest in serving on the super committee. Reid’s No. 3, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, informed leadership he did not want a spot on the panel.

For McConnell, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) is widely expected to get the nod, given his conservative credentials, ties to McConnell and his work in the Biden group.

But if Republicans stay united, they’d need one additional Democrat to break ranks and back a cuts-only approach - so McConnell may want to choose a senator with bipartisan appeal who is loyal to leadership, like either Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) or Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

At a townhall in Winchester, Ky. on Monday, McConnell told a crowd that he wanted “significant entitlement reform” to be part of the mix that the super committee proposes. Last week on Fox News, McConnell declared that tax increases were essentially off the table.

“What I can pretty certainly say to the American people, the chances of any kind of tax increase passing with this, with the appointees of John Boehner and I, are going to put in there are pretty low,” McConnell said.

Upping the rhetoric, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) issued a memo to his colleagues on Monday evening to blast the S&P’s suggestion that revenue raisers be part of the mix and to insist that higher taxes should not be part of the super committee’s solution.

“I believe this is what we must demand from the Joint Committee as it begins its work,” Cantor said to House Republicans.

Cantor is a possible choice for the committee - and Boehner may choose similar hard-nosed conservatives to throw a bone to tea party-backed lawmakers skeptical of his handling of the debt ceiling debate.

Pelosi has not yet indicated who she will pick, but Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, is a possible pick, according to Democratic sources. Other potential selections include Reps. James Clyburn (S.C.), the Assistant Democratic Leader, and Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), the top Latino in the Democratic Caucus.

If the super committee reaches an accord, its recommendations would be quickly sent to the House and Senate floors, forcing lawmakers to cast an up-or-down vote on whether to send the proposals to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature or veto; if it fails, it could trigger an across-the-board series of cuts, including to defense programs that Pentagon officials say are vital to national security.

Many Republicans are eager to avoid deep defense cuts, providing an incentive for their party to win Democratic backing on the panel.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60980.html#ixzz1UZdg4c62
 
Oct 8, 2005
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John Kerry..... Great pick a guy that votes for higher taxes and then parks his yacht in another state to avoid paying taxes.
 

Josh_R

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This can't be true, the Super Congress is supposed to be composed of Illuminati Lizard People appointed by the Bilderberg group and the Brady Campaign.
 

Lord Zero

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This Super Congress thing is so illegal. Not to mention completely useless.
 

whiskeyguy

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I'm confused... I thought this "Super Congress" was created out of the bill that was just passed to find spending cuts... a bill that did not include new taxes... so why are they talking about increasing taxes?

“The number one criteria should be someone who fights for revenues and if Republicans continue to rule out revenues, then the Democrats have to play proper defense in response,” said a senior Democratic aide.
Yup, a fucking waste of time. God damn it, show us you can manage your fucking bank account before coming back with your hand out.
 

Josh_R

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I'm confused... I thought this "Super Congress" was created out of the bill that was just passed to find spending cuts... a bill that did not include new taxes... so why are they talking about increasing taxes?

“The number one criteria should be someone who fights for revenues and if Republicans continue to rule out revenues, then the Democrats have to play proper defense in response,” said a senior Democratic aide.

Yup, a fucking waste of time. God damn it, show us you can manage your fucking bank account before coming back with your hand out.
Goddamn are the Democrats good at sticking to talking points. "Remember guys, NEVER call them taxes. The new phrase is "revenues". Never taxes, always revenues". Fuck these doublespeaking faggots.
The "number one criteria should be someone who fights for revenues". Now imagine a politician saying what that really means: "The number one criteria for choosing members of the debt commission is someone who will fight to raise taxes". That doesn't go over so well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublespeak

Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., "downsizing" for layoffs), making the truth less unpleasant, without denying its nature. It may also be deployed as intentional ambiguity, or reversal of meaning (for example, naming a state of war "peace"). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth, producing a communication bypass.
 

Lord Zero

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Goddamn are the Democrats good at sticking to talking points. "Remember guys, NEVER call them taxes. The new phrase is "revenues". Never taxes, always revenues". Fuck these doublespeaking faggots.
The "number one criteria should be someone who fights for revenues". Now imagine a politician saying what that really means: "The number one criteria for choosing members of the debt commission is someone who will fight to raise taxes". That doesn't go over so well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublespeak
Remember your training, boy; only republicans lie.
 

BloodyDiaper

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Goddamn are the Democrats good at sticking to talking points. "Remember guys, NEVER call them taxes. The new phrase is "revenues". Never taxes, always revenues". Fuck these doublespeaking faggots.
New phrase? Hasn't it been called the Internal Revenue Service for 100 years or so?
 

Josh_R

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New phrase? Hasn't it been called the Internal Revenue Service for 100 years or so?
Yes, which is a euphemism for "guys who take your money". The point is that, until recently, we have always heard that you need to raise taxes. Since the start of the debt ceiling debate, all we have heard is that we need to "increase revenues". Revenues is the new buzz word. Just like terrorist acts are "man-caused disasters" and we are not in a "war on terrorism", it is an "overseas contingency operation".

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123879985817588375.html
 

BloodyDiaper

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Yes, which is a euphemism for "guys who take your money". The point is that, until recently, we have always heard that you need to raise taxes. Since the start of the debt ceiling debate, all we have heard is that we need to "increase revenues". Revenues is the new buzz word. Just like terrorist acts are "man-caused disasters" and we are not in a "war on terrorism", it is an "overseas contingency operation".

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123879985817588375.html
I've been following budget debates for over 20 years, raising revenues is not a new buzzword.
 

Lord Zero

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If Eric Holder had any integrity or courage, he would file arrest warrants for anyone involved with this Super Congress idea. To quote my dad on the matter, "12 people don't get to decide the fate of the fuckin' nation."
 

Hoffman

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If Eric Holder had any integrity or courage, he would file arrest warrants for anyone involved with this Super Congress idea. To quote my dad on the matter, "12 people don't get to decide the fate of the fuckin' nation."
...and at the end of the day they don't. The Senate and House STILL have to vote on any recommendations they put forth.
 

BIV

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Patty Murray is an A1 cunt. I can't believe my state keeps re-electing that twat. (wait, yes I can)
 

Hoffman

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Patty Murray is an A1 cunt. I can't believe my state keeps re-electing that twat. (wait, yes I can)
I know nothing of Murray, I don't like Kerry's tax views but other than that I can't say he's a horrible Senator. Max Baucus I actually think is a good choice. It will be interesting to see who the Republicans nominate.
 

Lord Zero

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...and at the end of the day they don't. The Senate and House STILL have to vote on any recommendations they put forth.
So basically, the whole thing is just the waste of time we all know it is?
 

Don the Radio Guy

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I was going to make a joke about them not even waiting until the announcement to ram tax increases down our throats, but they actually did it.
 

whiskeyguy

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So basically, the whole thing is just the waste of time we all know it is?
Based on what I can tell, it's pretty much another committee. Everyone in Congress still has to vote on the laws. I think the power in this committee lies in the fact that if they have an internal consensus, they pretty much have one to get a bill through congress. I'm also under the impression that Reid wont let any budget bill even be considered unless it originates from the committee.

Yes, it's another waste of time, and I think it's a way to bypass the newly elected Tea Party representatives who wont consider new taxation.

BTW, this whole fucking debacle just reinforces why we need term limits in my opinion. Some people in Congress just have too much power.
 

Norm Stansfield

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...and at the end of the day they don't. The Senate and House STILL have to vote on any recommendations they put forth.
Ok, so if they don't really have any actual power, can I have a veto over all their decisions? I don't want to impose, and be invited to their meetings or anything like that, I just want a final say on whatever they decide, over a quick e-mail.

It wouldn't take more effort on their part then corresponding with any constituent who feels like writing them a letter. But it would really make me feel great about myself, and, if what you're saying is true, it would have no consequences for the country. It would give me exactly zero new powers.
 

Hoffman

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Ok, so if they don't really have any actual power, can I have a veto over all their decisions? I don't want to impose, and be invited to their meetings or anything like that, I just want a final say on whatever they decide, over a quick e-mail.

It wouldn't take more effort on their part then corresponding with any constituent who feels like writing them a letter. But it would really make me feel great about myself, and, if what you're saying is true, it would have no consequences for the country. It would give me exactly zero new powers.
If you don't like what they do then by all means vote them the fuck out of office. I know I plan on voting for ZERO incumbent politicians next year.
 

Norm Stansfield

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If you don't like what they do then by all means vote them the fuck out of office. I know I plan on voting for ZERO incumbent politicians next year.
What you are describing is a system in which democratic elections are the only check on the power of government agents. The founders recognized the many weaknesses of such a system, and they never adopted it. In fact they went to great lengths to avoid it, and wrote against it extensively.

The main check they came up with on government instead is the rule of law. Their intention was to not allow any powers to the government whatsoever, except those explicitly prescribed by law. And they did not intend to make sure those limits stayed in place just by means of democratic elections. They intended for them to be kept in place by two other means:

1. The First Amendment, affirming absolute freedom of speech, allowing people to speak up against any abuses.
2. The Second Amendment, which is self explanatory.
 

Hoffman

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What you are describing is a system in which democratic elections are the only check on the power of government agents. The founders recognized the many weaknesses of such a system, and they never adopted it. In fact they went to great lengths to avoid it, and wrote against it extensively.

The main check they came up with on government instead is the rule of law. Their intention was to not allow any powers to the government whatsoever, except those explicitly prescribed by law. And they did not intend to make sure those limits stayed in place just by means of democratic elections. They intended for them to be kept in place by two other means:

1. The First Amendment, affirming absolute freedom of speech, allowing people to speak up against any abuses.
2. The Second Amendment, which is self explanatory.
Hey, if you want to go shoot up your Senators and Congressmen then please be my guest. I'll stick with writing them letters and voting against them if I don't like what they're doing.

:action-sm
 

Party Rooster

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Dream Team complete...

Pelosi announces 'supercommittee' picks

Published: Aug. 11, 2011 at 2:02 PM


The twelve members of the deficit reduction "super committee," seen in these UPI file photos, have all been named on August 11, 2011, in Washington, DC. Top row, L to R are: Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA; Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD; Rep. Fred Upton, R-MI; Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX; Middle Row from, L to R are: Sen. John Kerry, D-MA; Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-CA; Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA; Rep. David Camp, R-MI; Bottom row, L to R are: Sen. Max Baucus, D-MT; Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-SC; Sen. Rob Portman, R-OH; and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-AZ. UPI

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday tapped three former members of her Democratic leadership team for the U.S. debt "supercommittee."

Pelosi's picks are Reps. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.

All three are seen as close to the former Democratic speaker of the House, while Van Hollen is the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, The Hill reported.

The "supercommittee" by law is charged with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts by Nov. 23. If it fails, or if Congress rejects its recommendations, broad cuts to domestic and defense spending would be triggered.

"We must achieve a 'grand bargain' that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security," Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. "Our entire caucus will work closely with these three appointees toward this goal, which is the goal of the American people."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have already made their picks for the committee.

Reid chose Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the chairwoman of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee.

Murray is the only woman among the 12 panelists.

McConnell chose Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona, and Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

Boehner picked Reps. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Dave Camp, R-Mich.

The Hill said the picks include four lawmakers who voted against the recommendations of President Barack Obama's debt commission, as well as four involved in debt talks led by Vice President Biden that eventually broke down.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011...ittee-picks/UPI-78331313085736/#ixzz1UlXdy9pe