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Deficit ‘SUPER COMMITTEE’ reflects party leadership – latimes.com

August 11, 2011

Deficit ‘super committee’ reflects party leadership

The 12 members picked by House and Senate leaders to reach a deficit reduction deal seem to be lawmakers who won’t go their own way and will compromise only with the blessing of those who appointed them.

(Top, left to right) Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas; Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan; Rep. Fred Upton, also from Michigan; Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona; Rob Portman of Ohio; Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania (Bottom, left to right) Sen. Patty Murray of Washington; Sen. Max Baucus of Montana; Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts; Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina; Rep. Xavier Becerra of California; Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland (August 11, 2011)

By Lisa Mascaro, Washington Bureau

August 11, 2011, 5:57 p.m.

Reporting from Washington— The appointees to the bipartisan “super committee” on deficit reduction strongly resemble the political leaders who put them there.

The Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate each appear to have had a common goal in choosing members for the new Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction: They picked top lieutenants and allies, lawmakers they can trust not to go their own way and to cut a deal only with the leaders’ blessing — or, more likely, their fingerprints.

“I don’t really see you’ll be getting anybody going rogue in this group,” said David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general who now heads the Comeback America Initiative, a budget watchdog group.

There are no members on the panel who championed the various deficit reduction efforts that took place outside of the leadership’s auspices — no senators from the Gang of Six, for example. None stand out as political mavericks.

The resulting committee is less a band of brothers willing to strike a deal on deficit reduction and more an extension of the leadership foursome who will decide whether there is a deal to be struck.

The 12 members — three each appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) — have vast power as part of the debt deal reached by Congress and President Obama this month

via Deficit ‘super committee’ reflects party leadership – latimes.com.

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