Breaking: Nancy Pelosi’s “Super Committee” Picks Announced

Could this be good news? Nancy Pelosi has picked Reps. James Clyburn (South Carolina), Xavier Becerra (California), and Chris Van Hollen (Maryland), according to Politico, all of whom she expects to fight against cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as promoting revenue increases.

This is just from an e-mail so far. I’ll post links as soon as I have them.

Nancy Pelosi’s statement on her appointments:

“The Joint Select Committee has a golden opportunity to take its discussions to the higher ground of America’s greatness and its values. It must meet the aspirations of the American people for success and keep America number one.

“The thrust of the committee must be to grow an American prosperity enjoyed by all Americans. It must:
– Focus on economic growth and job creation that reduces the deficit;

– Make decisions regarding investments, cuts and revenues and their timing to stimulate growth while reducing the deficit; and
– Increase demand by offering recommendations that ensure that wages grow with productivity and reduce America’s families’ dependence on credit.

“The work of the Congress must go beyond the deliberations of the committee. Without waiting for the committee to complete its work, we should pass legislation for sustainable job creation. Congress should send to the President the long delayed highway and FAA bills, which generate hundreds of thousands of American jobs; and Congress should approve a national Infrastructure Bank to create jobs and improve our competitiveness.

“We must achieve a ‘grand bargain’ that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Our entire Caucus will work closely with these three appointees toward this goal, which is the goal of the American people.

“Because the work of this committee will affect all Americans, I called last week for its deliberations to be transparent; the committee should conduct its proceedings in the open.”

Some background on the three picks from the National Journal:

Van Hollen is the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. Clyburn – the highest ranking African-American member of the House — is the assistant Democratic leader. Both men served as Pelosi’s choices for spots on the bipartisan budget working group this year headed by Vice President Joe Biden.

Becerra is the highest ranking Latino lawmaker in the House. He is also the Democratic Caucus’ vice chairman and a member of the Ways and Means Committee. He served on the special White House deficit-reduction commission co-chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, eventually voting against its recommendations.

Van Hollen voted for the debt deal, and Becerra voted against it. Clyburn didn’t like the debt deal, but said it could have been worse. Sounds like he voted with Obama.

Brian Beutler at TPM:

As a member of the bipartisan deficit discussion group, convened by Vice President Joe Biden, that laid the groundwork for the debt limit deal, Clyburn — the third ranking Democrat in the House — publicly backed certain entitlement benefit cuts. Specifically, he said negotiators should at least consider further means-testing of Social Security or reduce benefits across the board by reducing Cost of Living Adjustments.

[….]

Van Hollen is the Dems’ top budget guy in the House. He’s one of the party’s chief antagonists of the GOP budget, which calls for phasing out Medicare, and was also a member of the Biden working group. Publicly, he’s been an advocate of approaches to deficit reduction that pair about one dollar of tax increases with about three dollars of spending cuts. He recently cited the Bowles-Simpson framework as a counterpoint to the Republican plan.

Beutler says Beccera “will likely be progressives’ main ally on the Super Committee.”

According to the National Journal article,

If the panel finds itself deadlocked along partisan lines, then across-the-board spending cuts would be triggered of about $1.2 trillion with half of those cuts coming from defense, and the rest from discretionary spending. Entitlements would remain largely untouched if the cuts are triggered by inaction.

Interesting. I didn’t know that. So maybe the goal for Reid and Pelosi is to make sure there is gridlock.

I’ll put any further updates in the comments. Let us know what you think.

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