(CSM) Can 'super committee' play fair as it tries to control national debt?

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka super Congress or super committee, is Congress’s answer to its own inability to break the hold of partisan gridlock that took America to the brink of default on Aug. 2, prompting the first-ever downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.

The panel, which on Thursday holds an organizational meeting open to the public, has a sweeping mandate to propose cuts to spending and entitlements and recommend tax reform by Nov. 23. Congress must vote the package up or down ”“ no amendments or filibuster ”“ by Dec. 23, or trigger a $1.2 trillion package of automatic spending cuts, equally divided between defense and domestic spending.

“Never has Washington had an all-or-nothing panel that is empowered and backed by a firm timeline like this one is,” says John Ullyot, a public-affairs consultant in Washington and former GOP Senate staffer. “The starter pistol will fire right after Labor Day.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Globalization, House of Representatives, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

3 comments on “(CSM) Can 'super committee' play fair as it tries to control national debt?

  1. Branford says:

    From the Washington Post, “members of debt panel have ties to lobbyists”:

    Like many federal contractors, General Electric has a lot riding on the work of a new congressional “supercommittee,” which will help decide whether to impose massive cuts in defense and health-care spending.

    But the Connecticut-based conglomerate also has a potential advantage: A number of its lobbyists used to work for members of the committee, and will be able to lobby their former employers to limit the impact of any reductions in the weeks ahead.

    GE is hardly alone: Nearly 100 registered lobbyists used to work for members of the supercommittee, now representing defense companies, health-care conglomerates, Wall Street banks and others with a vested interest in the panel’s outcome, according to a Washington Post analysis of disclosure data. Three Democrats and three Republicans on the panel also employ former industry lobbyists on their staffs.

    The preponderance of lobbyists adds to the political controversy surrounding the supercommittee, which will begin its work in earnest this week as Congress returns to Washington. The panel has already come under fire from watchdog groups for planning its activities in secret and allowing members to continue fundraising while they negotiate a budget deal. . .

    Overall, two-thirds of the lobbyists with committee ties are Democrats, including about two dozen former aides to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, records show. Baucus alumni include former staff chiefs David Castagnetti, who represents health insurers, oil producers and other corporate clients; Jeff Forbes, who lobbies for medical-device makers and other health-care firms; and Peter Prowitt, who leads GE’s Washington lobbying team.

    About two dozen lobbyists contacted for this article either declined to comment or did not respond to interview requests. Baucus’s office said in a statement: “Money has never influenced the decisions Max makes, and he’ll continue to do what’s right for working Montana families, regardless of outside interests.”. . .

    Let’s pray it’s not business as usual, but. . .

  2. Jill Woodliff says:

    Prayers [url=http://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/super-congress-4/]here[/url], [url=http://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/super-congress-3/]here[/url], [url=http://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/super-congress-2/]here[/url], and [url=http://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/super-congress/]here[/url].

  3. Militaris Artifex says:


    Why, given the penchant for spending, “earmarks,” various other forms of “the other white meat,” [i]etc.[/i], would you expect it to be other than “business as usual?” Which is not to say that I am denigrating the efficacy of fervent prayer. Rather, it is that the vast majority of our elected federal representatives (of both parties in both legislative bodies of the Congress) know no other way of “doing legislative business.” If one is a successful career politician the odds are overwhelming that one either grew up with that sort of mindset or that one has learned to function in that manner on virtual autopilot. We, as a people, are getting precisely what we have voted for (with both parties) because we have trusted their slogans and then blindly trusted that they would cleave to those slogans. What we should have been doing all of our voting lives was examining every tic, twitch and reaction of those people we elected to establish if they were actually doing the moral and just thing they promised their constituency, and when we discovered one who was not, seen to it they were not re-elected. We didn’t do that. This is a beast of our own (in the collective sense) creation.

    I am personally aware of only one elected federal representative who consistently votes in accordance with the principles he espouses. He is actively seeking the Republican nomination, but he is considered unelectable by the MSM and the pundits, and he gets short shrift from the media (MSM [i]et al[/i]). If there are others, I am not aware of them.

    [i]Pax et bonum[/i],
    Keith Töpfer