Republican Super Committee Picks Make Grand Bargain Unlikely
The Republican congressional leadership have made their six selections for who will serve on the new Super Committee, according the National Journal. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) chose Senators Jon Kyl (AZ), Pat Toomey (PA) and Rob Portman (OH). From the House side Speaker John Boehner (OH) selected Jeb Hensarling (TX), Dave Camp (MI) and Fred Upton (MI).
Senators Toomey and Portman are about as hard right on the issues of taxes as they come in the Senate. Of course, all six members have signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. These are not the Republicans you would select as leadership if you want the Super Committee to reach some form of grand bargain that contains tax increases. These are members you can count on to inflexibly hold the line.
Looking at the Republican appointees to the Super Committee the two most likely results will be; there is no agreement or Democrats fold completely by accepting an all cuts package that might have some modest revenue neutral tax reform.
It looks like McConnell is betting on the fact that he can get the Democrats to fold. President Obama has been signaling. with his actions, that he cares more about cutting Medicare and Social Security to make it appear he is serious about the deficit, than he is about getting a relatively small amount of revenue increases.
Given the Democrats past behavior this is probably a safe bet for Sen. McConnell.