Rep. Hensarling Named To GOP ‘Super’ Debt Panel

WASHINGTON (AP) – A conservative North Texas Republican congressman has been chosen by House Speaker John Boehner to co-chair a new committee tasked to find a bipartisan plan to slash the federal budget deficit by over $1 trillion.

Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s selection on Wednesday. At the same time, he named Reps. Dave Camp and Fred Upton, both of Michigan, to the committee. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., named Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio to the panel.

Hensarling will provide a conservative counterweight to the Democratic co-chair, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, in what is shaping up as another debate in which Democrats will fight to protect entitlement programs while Republicans will adamantly oppose tax increases.

Hensarling is chairman of the House Republican Conference. Murray is chairwoman of the committee to elect Democratic senators and a longtime protector of Democratic priorities such as Medicare, Social Security and veterans’ benefits.

“This joint committee presents an opportunity for both parties to bring to the table their best ideas, debate them on the merits, and ultimately come together to do what’s best for our country,” Boehner said. “With all that’s at stake, I expect that the joint select committee will conduct its work in the open and transparent manner the American people deserve.”

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid named Murray, as well as Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., to the panel. Nine of the panel’s 12 positions are now filled. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will name the other three.

The committee is charged with coming up with at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over the coming decade. It has until the day before Thanksgiving to come up with a plan that gets at least seven votes.

If it fails, or if the House or Senate votes down its recommendations, severe across-the-board spending cuts would be triggered automatically, hitting large swaths of the federal budget starting in 2013, including priorities dear to both parties. These include Medicaid, farm subsidies and the defense budget.

Camp is chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, which also oversees Social Security and Medicare. Upton is chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

On Wednesday, Camp made it clear he will continue to fight against “job-killing tax increases as a way to reduce our debt and deficits.”

“If we are successful in curbing the overspending in Washington that has sparked fear in the financial markets and created uncertainty on Main Street, we will start to see the job creation we desperately need,” Camp said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. upchkn says:

    Note to “super committee”…We, the American people, ARE watching you-CLOSELY!

  2. Really Tired says:

    They may not be around long enough to resolve the matter. Some of them are going to be looking for new jobs come November 2012. Some of their ratings are worse than Obama’s. Also, can someone tell me when Social Secirity became an entitlement program? By the time I retire in a little less than 2 years I will have been putting money into the system for 50 years along with the companies I have worked for and have been contributing to medicare since they began taking it out of our paychacks. That is MY money although the U.S. government has been “borrowing” it for years with no intention of paying it back. I think entitlement programs are welfare, TANF, section 8 housing and food stamps. I think they could find those cuts if they would start by cutting their salaries and benefits. Some of them make obscene salaries and it entitles them to benefits that are also obscene. They need to show the American public that they are willing to suffer like the rest of us. I will now get off my soapbox.

  3. Life is Entertainment says:

    And when you can’t make it in used cars, you go into politics.

  4. Rod says:

    GREAT ! Now nothing will get done.

  5. Rick McDaniel says:

    Not looking for any compromise from the Dems. They refuse to compromise.

    The welfare party has to hand out money to everyone, or they aren’t happy. Never mind, they are bankrupting the country.

  6. rhoda penmark says:

    not expecting much- the Repubs have been neutered by the t bag crazies….Compromise is now considered a ‘bad thing”- LOL

  7. Rick McDaniel says:

    The Dems have an extreme left person, so there is likely Nothing to get done……..and certainly not the 3 Trillion in cuts that are needed.

    The Dems are the “Welfare Party”. They prefer to dole out cash, to people, to keep them pacified, uneducated, and poor, so they can easily operate as dictators to them, and prevent them from ever learning the truth.

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