Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not-so-super selections (UPDATE)

Looks like Boehner and McConnell have chosen their super-committee picks...but I can't say they set the mind at ease towards finding a responsible solution seeking spending cuts that neither involves caving to tax increases nor triggering Defense gutting. 

The ONLY tea party member selected among those in the Senate will be Pat Toomey (PA), who also voted against the final deal.  Along with Toomey, McConnell chose Jon Kyl (AZ) and Rob Portman (OH), who did vote in favor of the final debt deal (I'll say more about this in a moment). 

In the House, it appears that Boehner stuck to the rule of the emanating Senate rumor that anyone voting against the final deal would NOT be assigned to the committee.  CBS reports, "House Speaker John Boehner said he's tapped House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, to serve as co-chair of the committee. He's also appointing House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., to the committee, as well as House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich."  The word is Paul Ryan asked not to be selected to the committee.  What's up with that?!

Reid appointed John Kerry, Patty Murray and Max Baucus yesterday as the Senate members to the super-committee, but the House Democrat members have yet to be assigned.

As William Jacobson from Legal Insurrection points out, "Remember, it only takes one. Who is our weak link?"  And his point is well taken considering Upton's EPA past (who was 'for' an incandescent light bulb phase out before he was 'against' it...look, he's got something in common with fellow committee member Kerry) or Portman's Bush budget director ties (when Repubs were spending like drunken Democrats) and others' wavering, as in those among the House and Senate whose names do not appear with the Courageous who voted against a final deal that has shown to provided no confidence in the markets or the overall economy.

But as a RedState post discusses, the GOP pick for the super duper committee probably won't make a difference in spending cuts when considering that "the Democrats have picked three radical leftists in the Senate, and are expected to follow suit with their House picks. There is no way that Democrats on the committee will ever support meaningful spending cuts, repeal of Obamacare, or entitlement reform."

Coupled with the downgrade proceeding after this shambles of a deal and the market slump, along with the questionable assignments from our questionable leadership of the highly debated constitutional legitimacy of the super-committee, I'm reminded of a passage I just read in Sen. Mike Lee's new book, The Freedom Agenda:

"...we need to restore the constitutional debate to Congress, one senator and one representative at a time.

Although this task may sound daunting, in fact it is remarkably simple.  We must demand that members of Congress tell us where they get their authority to enact each and every piece of legislation they support.  Whenever a congressman or senator can't answer that simple question with an equally simple, plain-spoken explanation consistent with the text and original understanding of the Constitution, then regardless of what Supreme Court precedent might tell Congress it can get away with, we should make clear that we expect him to vote against the bill.  And whenever a member of Congress refuses to comply with that expectation, we should strive to replace that member with someone who will serve as a consistent advocate for constitutionally limited government.

We should also seek to replace any member of Congress who refuses to keep the federal government focused on the national issues that only it can address.  We must, of course, remember that these limited responsibilities are explicitly defined by the Constitution.

The problem we face is neither esoteric nor contrived; the more time Congress spends trying to do things it is not authorized to do, the less time it spends solving the important problems that fall within its rightful jurisdiction."

By the way, neither Mike Lee, nor the man who supported his and other stalwart conservatives' elections, the great Sen. Jim DeMint, were sought to serve on this questionable super-committee.

UPDATE: Great...The Hill reports that Pelosi has rounded out the Democrat super-committee members with the choices of James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Xavier Becerra (CA) from the House.  That rounds out the radicals from the Left.  Anybody else get the feeling that this so-called committee is going nowhere fast?

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