Breaking: Boehner, McConnell Announce Picks for Catfood Commission IIPosted: August 10, 2011 | |
Speaker John Boehner has appointed Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) as the House GOP members of the panel.
Hensarling will be co-chairman of the committee. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also announced Wednesday the Senate Republican members: Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio.
Politico says that Kyl, who is not running for reelection,
will likely be a conduit to McConnell to keep him apprised of the ongoing negotiations – as he did when he served as the lead Senate GOP negotiator during the unsuccessful budget talks led by Vice President Joe Biden this summer. Portman, a former White House budget director under George W. Bush and a freshman GOP senator, has been given increased responsibilities from the leadership, including earlier this year when he helped draft a GOP jobs initiative.
From CBS News Political Hotsheet:
In a statement, McConnell said the three senators he’s chosen understand the “gravity” of the current economic climate and will bring to the table “the kind of responsibility, creativity, and thoughtfulness that the moment requires.”
“The American people know that we cannot dig ourselves out of this situation by nibbling around the edges, and I am confident that each of these nominees can be counted on to propose solutions that put the interests of all Americans ahead of any one political party,” McConnell said.
Boehner said in a statement he appointed “proven leaders who have earned the trust and confidence of their colleagues and constituents.”
How very reassuring. The good news is that Boehner didn’t appoint either Paul Ryan or Eric Cantor–probably because he wants them to be reelected in 2012.
As we heard yesterday, Harry Reid has chosen Patty Murray (Washington), John Kerry (Massachusetts), and Max Baucus (Montana), with Murray to serve as co-chair. Nancy Pelosi has not yet announced her choices for the “super committee” AKA Catfood Commission II.
At FDL, David Dayen has some great comments on Harry Reid’s choices.
Patty Murray and John Kerry have defense industry ties, and as the head of the Finance Committee Baucus is no stranger to health care or tax lobbyists. But I don’t think you could find a Senator in the Democratic caucus without those ties. Then there’s this allusion to a stirring speech by John Kerry, which should immediately set off a BS detector:
A Democratic source told The Huffington Post that Kerry “made it into the discussion” of who should serve on the committee by delivering “some powerful speeches” to the rest of the caucus. The speeches, the source added, were in defense of Democratic Party priorities, focusing on the need to protect entitlement programs and Kerry’s desire to strongly push back against (what the source referred to as) “the right-wing agenda.”
That gives me a great idea to stall out the committee: have John Kerry give the opening speech.
Meanwhile, if Baucus is not liked for being parochial and sure to vote against any program that emerged, and given his performance during the health care debate, when he went into a room with a small bipartisan group and wasted four months not finding a solution, I’d say it was a great choice!
Please post any relevant background information you have on these Senators and Representatives in the comments.