Skip to comments.McConnell Appoints Kyl, Toomey, Portman, to Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
Posted on 08/10/2011 8:47:50 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
LOUISVILLE, KY U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday announced his appointments to the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction tasked with reducing the deficit by $1.5 trillion more than the cuts already identified in the Budget Control Act. McConnell appointed Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
Chronic joblessness, out-of-control deficits and debt, and an unprecedented credit downgrade represent an historic challenge but also an historic opportunity for lawmakers in Washington to show they can work together on a plan that puts America back on the path to prosperity. All three of these appointees understand the gravity of our situation and all three will bring the kind of responsibility, creativity, and thoughtfulness that the moment requires. The American people know that we cannot dig ourselves out of this situation by nibbling around the edges, and I am confident that each of these nominees can be counted on to propose solutions that put the interests of all Americans ahead of any one political party.
The bipartisan, bicameral select committee is a central part of the new Budget Control Act and is tasked with reducing the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. The 12-member committee is equally divided among Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, House Republicans and House Democrats. The panel must vote on legislation by November 23. Legislation reported from the committee will receive expedited consideration in both chambers and be voted on by December 23.
If the committee produces legislation that achieves $1.2 trillion or greater in savings and that legislation is enacted into law, the President would then have the authority to request a debt limit increase of an equal amount (subject to disapproval & veto), capped at $1.5 trillion. Should the committee fail to agree on legislation, or if that legislation is not passed and signed into law by the President, a sequester mechanism would trigger automatic cuts. However, the sequester was designed by both parties to create a strong incentive for the committee to succeed. Depending on the deficit reduction enacted by the Joint Committee, the total debt limit increase could be at least $2.1 trillion but not more than $2.4 trillion.
My main criteria for selecting members was to identify serious, constructive senators who are interested in achieving a result that helps to get our nations fiscal house in order, McConnell said. That means reforming entitlement programs that are the biggest drivers of our debt, and reforming the tax code in a way that makes us more competitive and leads to more American jobs. The goal is to achieve a result that convinces Americans and the world that were committed as a nation to prosperity for all our citizens.
Sen. Jon Kyl was elected unanimously by his colleagues in 2008 to serve as Republican Whip, the second highest position in Senate Republican leadership. He is a senior member of the Finance Committee and a leading advocate of pro-growth tax policies. Kyl is in his third term in the Senate after serving four terms in the House of Representatives. He was the Senate Republicans lead negotiator in the deficit reduction talks led by the Vice President over the summer.
Sen. Pat Toomey is a member of the Budget, Banking, Commerce and Joint Economic Committees and has been a leader on economic, financial services, and budgetary issues. Toomey is in his first term in the Senate after serving three terms in the House of Representatives. Sen. Toomey has run a small business and served as the president of The Club for Growth.
Sen. Rob Portman will be the only former Director of the Office of Management and Budget on the Joint Committee. He is a member of the Budget Committee and serves on the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management (Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee). Sen. Portman is in his first term in the Senate. He served in the House of Representatives from 1993 to 2005 when he became the U.S. Trade Representative. While serving in the House of Representatives, he served as Vice Chair of the House Budget Committee and as a member of the House Ways & Means Committee. In 1997, Portman co-chaired the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service with Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska.
Kyl is a pretty good guy..but their is NO ACCOUNTABILITY for someone who has already announced his retirement..The other two are tops IMHO..
These are GOOD appointments to an UNCONSTITUTIONAL committee.
WHAT? No McCain??? Or is Kyl just McQueeg’s puppet?
Kyl is a mistake. He used to be a pretty strong man, but lately he folds at the drop of the hat. Expect higher taxes thanks to Kyl.
This select committee is a joke and will accomplish nothing.
Good picks by McConnell. I was prepared for a lot worse. I would have liked to see one of the more articulate newer guys since these figures will get a lot of interview coverage, but these are good picks.
Rather seen DeMint, Rubio and Rand Paul.
Kyl concerns me since he is more or less a free agent given his announced retirement.
Shouldn’t somebody’s horse be appointed to this committee?
Baucus is retiring to so the Rats did the same thing. This makes me feel very uneasy.
Toomey I knew, he was a given. Good point on Kyl (although I've liked him in the past). Portman I don't know that much about, but if you couple him with Toomey, that's a strong recomendation.
One of those three should have been in it for sure.
Toomey is a solid fiscal hawk. Kyl seems like an honest broker. What is Portman like? Is he solid?
Isn’t Portman the knucklehead who promoted the light bulb ban?
Baucus isn’t retiring..or did I miss that?
A semi-good choice, but like you said, there's no accountability with this pick! Toomey and Portman are strong!
Agreed. Kyl is an UFA.
As far as I know, Baucus isn’t retiring, but is being challenged for his seat. Possibly by the current Montana governor.
No. That was Fred Upton, appointed by Boner to the congressional side of the committee.
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