NYT: Representative Nancy Pelosi today announced her three appointees to the special congressional committee tasked with finding ways to reduce federal budget deficits, even as a Republican member of the newly formed panel expressed an openness to consider possible tax increases.
Ms. Pelosi’s choices complete the 12-member panel, which is evenly divided between both the parties and the two houses of Congress.
All three members named by Ms. Pelosi hold leading roles in the party: Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 House Democrat; Representative Xavier Becerra of California, vice chair of the Democratic Caucus; and Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
… One Republican member of the committee, Representative Dave Camp of Michigan, said today that he would not rule out possible tax increases – a central point of contention in the recent debt talks and something many economists contend will be a necessary element to any successful bipartisan proposal.
“I don’t want to rule anything in or out,” Mr. Camp told Reuters. “I am willing to discuss all issues that might help us reduce our short and long-term debt and grow our economy. Everything is on the table, until we as a group rule it out,” he said.
Ms. Pelosi, in her statement, described Mr. Clyburn as a consensus builder with experience on the Appropriations Committee; Mr. Becerra as a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee who “placed the interests of America’s working families first”; and Mr. Van Hollen as a Democratic leader in the deficit-reduction talks led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
The three Democratic members will join three House Republicans, Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Mr. Camp and Fred Upton, both from Michigan, on the committee. The Senate will be represented by three Republicans, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio, along with the Democrats Patty Murray of Washington, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Max Baucus of Montana.