Dallas congressman named to Super Debt Committee

House Speaker John Boehner selected Dallas Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R) to co-chair of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – the bipartisan, bicameral
panel tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in cuts by late November. This is a large step for Hensarling, who has made a concerted effort in recent years to advance his standing in the House.

Hensarling will represent House Republicans along with Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) to represent Senate Republicans.

In a statement released on his website, Hensarling said he was “honored” to be chosen by Boehner, and admitted that Americans were “understandably frightened about their economic future” because of low employment and a fluctuating stock market.

“The debt crisis is a legitimate threat to our nation’s future, and the American people cannot afford to wait any longer. Everyone can agree that we must stop spending money we don’t have, and the time to act is now,” Hensarling said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced his picks for the panel yesterday. They are Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass) and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

The committee faces low expectations given the intense national political climate. This is flamed by the fact that all six GOP selections are stridently anti-tax, which may make compromise difficult. Democratic picks are also causing a stir, particularly the appointment of Murray, who is currently serving as the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the fundraising group responsible for getting Senate Democrats elected.

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee said her appointment showed “absolute proof that Democrats are not serious about deficit reduction,” and “The select committee is no place for someone whose top priority is fundraising and politics.”

Reid and White House Spokesman Jay Carney have both defended the pick and said criticism was unfounded.

Nancy Pelosi has not yet announced the names of the House Democrats she has chosen to serve on the committee.

The committee is expected to decide on the cuts by Nov. 23, and both chambers must vote on the proposal by Dec. 23. If the committee cannot reach a decision, across-the-board cuts to federal spending will begin taking substantial funding from defense and healthcare spending.




Posted by on August 10, 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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