"In the first of what will be a closely watched selection process for a powerful new deficit panel, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he will appoint Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Max Baucus (Mont.) and John Kerry (Mass.) as his three choices for a super committee charged with finding more than $1 trillion in spending cuts by the end of this year.
..."The Joint Select Committee has been charged with forging the balanced, bipartisan approach to deficit reduction that the American people, the markets and rating agencies like Standard and Poor's are demanding," Reid said in a statement. "To achieve that goal, I have appointed three senators who each posses an expertise in budget matters, a commitment to a balanced approach and a track record of forging bipartisan consensus."
I wonder of Reid can say that while President Obama drinks a glass of water? I can assure you the six Republicans on the other side of the table will have no intention whatsoever of being all bi-partisany. That means if the committee is going to avoid a 6--6 deadlock one of these three Democrats is going to have to join them. Baucus is my odds-on favorite to fill that role.
And while all the very serious people in Washington are wringing their collective hands over the deficit and deciding what and how much to cut:
When asked by CNN what is the most important issue facing the country today, 60% said the economy, 16% said the federal budget deficit.
A CBS News/New York Times poll asked which should be the higher priority, cutting spending or creating jobs? 62% answered creating jobs, 29% said cutting spending.
But what do we know?
Update: The Republican side of the Politburo has been named:
"The GOP has announced its picks for the powerful deficit-reduction "supercommittee" established by the debt-ceiling deal.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has appointed Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) to serve on the panel. Hensarling will serve as the co-chairman of the supercomittee.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appointed his deputy, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), former Bush budget director Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Tea Party favorite Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.).
The six conservative stalwarts picked for the supercommittee have all vowed to oppose tax increases, which appears to make it less likely that the group will go beyond its mandate to find $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts."