How vulnerable will deficit 'super committee' be to pressure from lobbyists?
With the sweep of the deficit committee's mandate potentially covering every dollar taxed or spent in the federal government, Washington’s lobby community is going on full alert.
For the next three months, the focus in Washington shifts to the work of 12 lawmakers tasked by Congress with coming up with ways to reduce the US deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. Their recommendations are due by Thanksgiving.Skip to next paragraph
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With the sweep of their mandate potentially covering every dollar taxed or spent in the federal government, Washington’s lobby community is going on full alert to analyze every rumor, leak, and draft of potential cuts that begins to circulate.
But for now, speculation centers on the 12 individuals appointed by congressional leaders to do the work on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
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All are veteran lawmakers, many with budget experience. Five are members of leadership in their respective caucuses; most of the others are close to leadership. None is a member of a tea party caucus.
The other senators on the committee include two Democrats, Max Baucus of Montana and John Kerry of Massachusetts, and three Republicans, Rob Portman of Ohio, Jon Kyl of Arizona, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
House members include three Democrats – Xavier Becerra of California, James Clyburn of South Carolina and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland – and two Republicans, Dave Camp of Michigan and Fred Upton of Michigan.
Four were members of President Obama’s finance commission, known as Simpson Bowles, but none of the four voted for its final recommendations, which included a “grand bargain” of entitlement cuts and increased tax revenues. Nor were any of them members of the Senate’s Gang of Six, which also backed a “grand bargain.”