Boehner, McConnell announce super-committee assignments

posted at 12:45 pm on August 10, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The GOP have selected their six members that will form the Republican side of the so-called “super committee” created by the debt-ceiling compromise.  The list should generally please conservatives, while still allowing for some flexibility towards a potential solution to avoid the triggers in the deal:

Republican leaders in the House and the Senate today announced their appointees to the 12-member, bipartisan congressional “super committee” charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings by Thanksgiving.

House Speaker John Boehner said he’s tapped House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, to serve as co-chair of the committee. He’s also appointing House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., to the committee, as well as House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s appointing Sens. Jon Kyl, Ariz., Pat Toomey, Pa., and Rob Portman, Ohio.

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.”

Interestingly, Boehner didn’t assign Paul Ryan to the ad hoc panel.  Ryan chairs the House Budget Committee, and he will have considerable influence over whether conservatives sign onto the panel’s eventual product.  According to Ryan himself, however, he specifically asked Boehner to leave him off of the super committee, and he praised Boehner’s selections:

“The Speaker has chosen three excellent Republican members to serve on this Joint Committee in Chairmen Hensarling, Upton and Camp. I asked the Speaker not to consider me for the Joint Committee, because only the Budget Committee can write legislation to reform the budget process. As Budget Committee chairman, my plan has long been to work on this critical issue throughout the fall. This past year has shown that the federal budget process is more broken than ever and needs to be reformed. If we are truly going to put the country’s fiscal house in order, it will not be enough to temporarily reduce what Washington spends. We must permanently reform the process by which working Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars are spent.

“The House Budget Committee plans to complement the Joint Committee’s work this fall by holding hearings and marking up legislation to put in place common-sense controls that stop the spending spree in Washington. As things stand, the budget process is stacked in favor of those who want to chase ever-higher spending with ever-higher taxes. In addition to cutting spending by $6.2 trillion in The Path to Prosperity, the Budget Committee will take action to reform our broken budget process in order to bring spending, deficits and debt under control.”

Even without Ryan, these seem like pretty strong selections.  Pat Toomey and Rob Portman are especially strong selections for fiscal conservatives, as is Jeb Hensarling as co-chair.  Fred Upton might be the only one that will make Tea Party activists nervous — they didn’t like his selection as Energy and Commerce Chair, but he’s done a pretty good job thus far in pushing back against EPA regulators.

The question is where an eventual compromise might be found, and how.  Democrats have chosen the three Senators for the panel: Patty Murray, John Kerry, and Max Baucus.  Interestingly, Democrats also kept a Budget Committee chair off the panel; Kent Conrad seemed like a perfect choice, given his chairmanship and his impending retirement.  So far, only Baucus looks like a good prospect for Republicans to woo, and it’s unlikely that Nancy Pelosi will provide another moderate among her three selections.

I’m mildly encouraged by the lineup so far.  We’ll see what happens when they meet.  In the meantime, however, Congress can still move forward with other solutions as Ryan insists he will do in the House, and that is where we need to focus.

Update: One commenter asks, “Where’s Marco Rubio?”  It’s a good question, but I think the Senate selections are pretty solid — and the GOP may want to give Rubio room enough to distance himself from the proposal, if necessary.

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Where’s Marco Rubio? Too “extreme”?

TampaBayBull on August 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I can understand that. He doesn’t want to be the lightning rod for controversy.

Ward Cleaver on August 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I was disappointed that Ryan was on the committee; but with his statement it makes sense. If he can push thru common-sense legislation; which will be an uphill battle with the idiots on the left; it is worth while to have him fighting on a different front.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on August 10, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Good day. WI last night and now this. Good day.

VegasRick on August 10, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Where’s Marco Rubio? Too “extreme”?

TampaBayBull on August 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM

The next VPOTUS will be busy with more important issues in the days to come. Perry/Rubio 2012.

VegasRick on August 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Boehner needs to call the House back ASAP and start passing fixes to this disaster. Let King Barry and Dingy ignore them all.

Knucklehead on August 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

pelosi- waters, rangel and clyburn…whadda think? no?

cmsinaz on August 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

S’alright! :)

OT – check out this great video with the E-trade baby bashing Obama:

http://youtu.be/nYCRimg9Iig

Greyledge Gal on August 10, 2011 at 12:53 PM

i still worry about kyl but am happy with the selections

cmsinaz on August 10, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Fred Upton might be the only one that will make Tea Party activists nervous — they didn’t like his selection as Energy and Commerce Chair, but he’s done a pretty good job thus far in pushing back against EPA regulators.

Isn’t he the one who wrote the lightbulb bill?

rbj on August 10, 2011 at 12:53 PM

What a refreshing thing to read. November 2010 is beginning to pay dividends.

DanMan on August 10, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Gotta love the GOP.

They put up ALL Older White Males.

Not a female or a person of color in the lot…

Just how well will they represent the rest of US?

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61028.html#ixzz1Ue7HdhxO

a poster not too happy

cmsinaz on August 10, 2011 at 12:57 PM

pelosi- waters, rangel and clyburn…whadda think? no?

cmsinaz on August 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Congresssswooommman Sheila Jackson Lee. (TX-18th)

redwhiteblue on August 10, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Ryan may not be on the super-committee, but you darn well know he’s going to have significant input into the final results. His fingerprints will be all over the draft and final proposals.

Which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned. If his colleagues don’t give him heed, then they’re idiots.

Which, of course, is far closer to the truth than I care for….

nukemhill on August 10, 2011 at 12:58 PM

redwhiteblue on August 10, 2011 at 12:57 PM

ooooh good one…

cmsinaz on August 10, 2011 at 12:58 PM

What do you find “mildly encouraging” about Fred Upton, Ed?

Jaibones on August 10, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Ok so the choices have been made, now let’s see what they do.

Bishop on August 10, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Still waiting to see Rush’s take on this. He is on a real roll today…

OmahaConservative on August 10, 2011 at 1:01 PM

and the GOP may want to give Rubio room enough to distance himself from the proposal, if necessary.

Yep, and same goes for anyone else who may be a candidate for higher office at some point. It’s going to be a thankless job. Think Obama would have handled a hot potato like this when he was in the Senate. That guy didn’t even vote half the time in his legislative ‘career’ so he’d have nothing to answer for.

forest on August 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Nancy will probably select Maxine Waters, Barney Frank and Charlie Rangel.

GarandFan on August 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM

One commenter asks, “Where’s Marco Rubio?”

Did Rubio vote against the recent Debt Ceiling increase? If so, I think he would have been precluded from the committee, pursuant to the terms of the agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

I’m too lazy to check, and too disgusted to think any of this even matters.

sheesh on August 10, 2011 at 1:03 PM

The list should generally please conservatives, while still allowing for some flexibility towards a potential solution to avoid the triggers in the deal:

Why can’t you say ‘cave’ or ‘compromise,’ Ed?

Even without Ryan, these seem like pretty strong selections.

Really? You ARE aware that this ‘committee’ is nothing but 12 votes, right?

One commenter asks, “Where’s Marco Rubio?” It’s a good question, but I think the Senate selections are pretty solid — and the GOP may want to give Rubio room enough to distance himself from the proposal, if necessary.

Why would he have to do that, if you are encouraged by these selections?

Your posts are getting weaker and weaker, Ed.

Try doing some critical thinking before posting. You’re just mailing it in now.

fossten on August 10, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Given Reid’s choices, this committee will make the country end up much the same as the Titanic. Upton? RUkiddin’me?

Kissmygrits on August 10, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Gotta love the GOP.

They put up ALL Older White Males.

Not a female or a person of color in the lot…

Just how well will they represent the rest of US?

Good example of the morally bankrupt thinking that helped get us in this mess.

BD57 on August 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Intriguing related topic: Beware the shariah banking solution to debt/deficit problems. We have enough naive squishes, especially among the Dems, who would be “enchanted” by this idea.
http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/08/09/some-really-bad-ideas-on-how-to-solve-americas-debt-problems/

onlineanalyst on August 10, 2011 at 1:06 PM

BD57 on August 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM

yepper…

cmsinaz on August 10, 2011 at 1:06 PM

My bet on Pelosi’s picks: Jackson from TX (black woman); Guitierez from somewhere (Hispanic); and Frank from Mass (gay). If she could have a fourth, she’d add Ellison from MN (Muslim).

It’s all about the identiy politics.

BuckeyeSam on August 10, 2011 at 1:11 PM

It’s all about the identiy politics.

BuckeyeSam on August 10, 2011 at 1:11 PM

amen

cmsinaz on August 10, 2011 at 1:12 PM

A committee won’t solve a thing.

Committees, on the left and right, got us into this mess.

Just more kicking the can down the road if you ask me.

fogw on August 10, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Nancy will probably select Maxine Waters, Barney Frank and Charlie Rangel.

GarandFan on August 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM

/////

Wait,have they been to Selma though,that should be a prerequisite.

ohiobabe on August 10, 2011 at 1:19 PM

A camel is a horse by committee…

PatriotRider on August 10, 2011 at 1:20 PM

It could be worse. McConnell could’ve picked Snowe, Collins, and Brown.

ErnstBlofeld on August 10, 2011 at 1:21 PM

My bet on Pelosi’s picks: Jackson from TX (black woman); Guitierez from somewhere (Hispanic); and Frank from Mass (gay). If she could have a fourth, she’d add Ellison from MN (Muslim).

It’s all about the identiy politics.

BuckeyeSam on August 10, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Guitierez represents Chicago-when he’s not getting arrested in DC.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

One commenter asks, “Where’s Marco Rubio?” It’s a good question, but I think the Senate selections are pretty solid — and the GOP may want to give Rubio room enough to distance himself from the proposal, if necessary.

Rubio is great, but he can’t hold a candle to Pat Toomey when it comes to tax policy, or Rob Portman when it comes to budget knowledge. There should be no question about the selection of both him and Rob Portman over Rubio.

rockmom on August 10, 2011 at 1:25 PM

THIS COMMITTEE WILL BRING HIGHER TAXES. BANK IT!

Thank you so much you RINO Republicans!

HondaV65 on August 10, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Ryan out by request

Which means either:

1. Ryan wants plausible deniability for a Higher office run

2. He knows this is futile and is all for show.

portlandon on August 10, 2011 at 1:26 PM

I like the choices for the committee. Now, here’s something to ask. How likely are these Republicans to put a flat tax on the table. CNN and the democrats are screaming today that “Americans want tax increases on the wealthy!” Put a flat tax on the table and you get to have a big, loud national conversation about the fact that 50% of this country is paying no taxes at all — has no “skin in the game” as Barry likes today. A flat tax is a fair tax. Push that, along with ending tax loopholes, special deductions, etc., and watch the democrats explode. Call it the “Equal Rights Tax” or the “Justice for All Tax.” It will have the added benefit of downsizing the IRS — big time!

Rational Thought on August 10, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Fred “all your lightbulb are belong to us” Upton? That one? Nice pick, Boner.

bofh on August 10, 2011 at 1:38 PM

These are pretty strong – could have been much much much worse.

gophergirl on August 10, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Where’s Dick Lugar? He thinks the economy is wonderful. That’s the kind of GOP Senator we need on the albatross.

flytier on August 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Well, Kos and co are basically reaching apoplexy, which I take as a positive.

I believe all of the House selections are clear in supporting repeal of Obamacare, although I am not sure if they all have signed the CFG pledge.

And if Kos is right, all six (GOP senate and House) have signed the ATR no new taxes pledge, which is a positive.

I would’ve enjoyed seeing Bachmann, Ryan and West, but GOP did all right.

repealObamacarePAC.com on August 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Isn’t he the one who wrote the lightbulb bill?
Yes he is and he now claims it was a mistake. Yehhhhhh, right!

flytier on August 10, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Try doing some critical thinking before posting. You’re just mailing it in now.

fossten on August 10, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Let’s see if I can emulate your critical thinking …

“HOLY **** EVERYONE’S WRONG BUT ME AND WE’RE ALL SCREWED BECAUSE ANY PROGRESS IS NOT ENOUGH AND THIS SITE SUCKS.”

How’s that?

Ed Morrissey on August 10, 2011 at 1:51 PM

What some folks around here don’t understand, judging from the comments above, is that the GOP only controls one house of Congress. It’s easy to shout not compromising or ceding an inch, but we need to get what we can get and win some elections to get the rest.

In the debt ceiling debate where we got precious little, but we placed an awful lot in jeopardy. Mostly all we got was an IOU on future Congresses which is worth less than nothing. Risk vs rewards folks! Don’t risk everything for a meager payout. Instead use these talks and other events as an opportunity to spread the word of government restraint before it’s too late (if it isn’t already).

MJBrutus on August 10, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I would’ve enjoyed seeing Bachmann, Ryan and West, but GOP did all right.

repealObamacarePAC.com on August 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM

My only criticism is Upton, and that’s an easy one — I despise him. He’s a liberal.

Jaibones on August 10, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Ryan’s statement on why he requested not to be on the committee are rather interesting. They almost strike me as an early vote of no confidence in it, which is probably not an unfair assessment of it.

Voyager on August 10, 2011 at 1:59 PM

My only criticism is Upton, and that’s an easy one — I despise him. He’s a liberal.

Jaibones on August 10, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Yep, Mister curly light bulb.

slickwillie2001 on August 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Obama clearly wants no solution -but an opportunity to create a convenient crisis in time (to blame the evil republicans for killing every one including granny) for the election (that was the real problem with this deal – GOP)

Why do you think Obama appointed an ideologue and tax cheat like Kerry if he at all hoped for a resolution?

The GOP needs to attack him now,or withdraw their list of names replacing them with Ryan, Rand Paul, Bachmann (and maybe Palin as a non-voting participant – representative of the media)let them scream but it will focus eyes upon their ideologue choices. The GOP should now challenge their motives and scream “trap” and crisis creation” as Obama’s goal.

Don L on August 10, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Ryan chairs the House Budget Committee, and he will have considerable influence over whether conservatives sign onto the panel’s eventual product.

It’s our only hope. The people supposedly want compromise but no one told Reid & Pelosi.

Herb on August 10, 2011 at 2:03 PM

I would have liked to see Jim DeMint among the GOP Senators, but Kyl is a solid conservative, and McConnell is giving two conservative freshmen Senators (Toomey and Portman), who are both former House members, a chance to shine. They could also be strategic choices for the Presidential election, coming from two key swing states (PA and OH)–would Obama want to veto a plan put forth by newly-elected Senators from those states?

Hensarling and Camp are excellent choices from the House–as chairmen of crucial committees, they know a lot about budgeting, and can have lots of influence “shepherding” the budget through the House. Upton could be a liability–has he seen the light or is he still trying to ban it?

Steve Z on August 10, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Rubio, whether he likes it or not, is VP material for just about any prospective nominee. Good move to keep him out of that one. Toomey’s a winner. As for Upton and Kyl, they have to show me. And I agree that we need Ryan to sit this one out; he’ll be of far greater value when it comes time to actually craft legislation, budgets, etc.

either orr on August 10, 2011 at 2:05 PM

How’s that?

Ed Morrissey on August 10, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Is it strange that when I read your answer I heard it in Pirate voice with a couple of AArrrrrgghhhhs?

portlandon on August 10, 2011 at 2:20 PM

The GOP selections do look pretty good. It will be interesting to see the creative ways that none of us could possibly foresee that Boehner and McConnell will come up with to undermine their own team in this whole process. Never fear though, RINOs can always manage to undermine their own.

JimP on August 10, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Kerry’s selection is a farce after he called the Tea Party terrorists and asked the mainstream media to censor the them.If there is anyone who is more incompetent than Obama on the economy, it has to be Lurch. Kerry is a Jane Fonda sycophant. Maybe she should have been selected instead.

volsense on August 10, 2011 at 2:39 PM

WARNING: Rubio doesn’t thick Conservative economics is “morally superior” to the Progressives philosophy.

If Conservative beliefs are no better than any Progressive ideas……then why bother?

PappyD61 on August 10, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Where are Nancy’s selections? Is she still trying to game the system or can’t she get three people to say yes?

And keep up the good work ED. Your efforts are appreciated.

meci on August 10, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Rand Paul, Robio and Demint should have been on there.

These picks show they are not serious about cutting anything

the_ancient on August 10, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Yep, Mister curly light bulb.

slickwillie2001 on August 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM

And so much more. Here is the litany, from American Spectator:

Like many a Republican who lost a primary this year, Upton voted for the $700 billion TARP bailout. But he was one of just 18 Republicans to vote a year later for Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) bill to give the Obama Treasury Department wide latitude in spending the remaining $350 billion in TARP funds. In 2005, he was one of only three House Republicans to vote against extending the Bush tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. He was one of just 11 Republicans to subject tax cuts to a 60-vote threshold in the Senate. And he was one of nine Republicans who voted against substituting tax cuts for the $787 billion stimulus plan.

On spending, Upton was one of only 16 Republicans to vote for the Pelosi omnibus spending bill in 2009. He voted against slashing $355 billion in spending from the stimulus package. He has been a backer of the government SCHIP health care plan, the National Endowment for the Arts, and wasteful public subsidies for Amtrak. All aboard!

Upton has occasionally thrown pro-lifers from the train. He has a number of votes in favor of federal subsidies for Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider and advocate. He voted to overturn the first President Bush’s ban on federally funded abortion counseling. He is a proponent of taxpayer-supported embryo-destructive research.

Boehner can’t get out of his own way.

Jaibones on August 10, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Let’s see if I can emulate your critical thinking …

“HOLY **** EVERYONE’S WRONG BUT ME AND WE’RE ALL SCREWED BECAUSE ANY PROGRESS IS NOT ENOUGH AND THIS SITE SUCKS.”

How’s that?

Ed Morrissey on August 10, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Sounds a) passive aggressive, b) butthurt, and c) strawmannish.

Can you articulate the ‘ANY PROGRESS’ we got in the debt deal?

I’ll wait.

fossten on August 10, 2011 at 4:33 PM

I can make a lot more progress in cutting the deficit and the debt in less than minute.

1. Use the budget figures that were in place the last time Congress had a budget – 2008.

Savings – $1.4 trillion a year. The current budget baseline they are fighting over has the costs of TARP and Stimulus rolled in.

2. Repeal and Don’t Replace Obamacare.

Savings – $Unknown trillions.

3. Eliminate the duplicative government agencies that the last useless commission recommended.

Savings – $200+ billion a year.

Then we can work on the hard stuff. And these pansy Congressmen and Senators won’t have to embarrass themselves any further.

Sporty1946 on August 10, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Michigan has a tea party contingent. Based on Upton’s record, looks like he needs to be primaried.

karenhasfreedom on August 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Wait and see how they perform, Grasshopper.

flataffect on August 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Wait, so our picks, allow for “flexibility”, while Democrats picked three of the most uncompromising radical left wing hacks they could.

How is that good again?

American Elephant on August 10, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Where are Nancy’s selections? Is she still trying to game the system or can’t she get three people to say yes?

And keep up the good work ED. Your efforts are appreciated.

meci on August 10, 2011 at 3:08 PM

‘Stretch’ doesn’t know 3 Dems that know what the word cuts means.

Yes, Ed does very well and I appreciate it. I don’t always agree with his take but I appreciate it.

Sporty1946 on August 10, 2011 at 6:38 PM

pelosi- waters, rangel and clyburn…whadda think? no?

cmsinaz on August 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Too conservative…

Khun Joe on August 10, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Toomey is a fine addition. He is a skilled negotiator and a fiscal conservative with a sense of responsibility to the American taxpayer, the nation, and the growth of the economy.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/274254/toomey-outlines-goals-debt-committee-andrew-stiles#comment-253725

Don’t let his diplomatic words lead you to think him a squish. It was the real squish, Huckabee, who called the Club for Growth, the “club for greed.”

onlineanalyst on August 10, 2011 at 8:01 PM