From USA TODAY:
Sen. Pat Toomey voted against the debt-limit compromise last week, partly because he didn’t think the budget-balancing recommendations of the bipartisan committee it created would stick.
A week later, Toomey finds himself serving on the committee he voted against.
The Pennsylvanian was one of six Republican members appointed Wednesday to Congress’ new 12-member “supercommittee.”
Formally known as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the panel will be asked to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appointed Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the No. 4 Republican in the House, to co-chair the panel. He also tapped two committee chairmen with jurisdiction over taxes and entitlement programs: Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, both of Michigan.
All except Toomey voted for the debt-limit increase last week. Toomey opposed the deal because it didn’t cut enough — especially in the short-term — and because the long-term cuts proposed by the commission may never materialize.
He softened his criticism Wednesday, pointing to his opposition to tax-based ethanol subsidies as evidence he can work with Democrats.
All the Republican appointees are “taxpayer friendly,” said anti-tax activist Grover Norquist. They’ve all signed his pledge not to raise taxes — which was a key obstacle in the various failed plans to raise the debt ceiling.
Wednesday’s appointments leave three slots to fill. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will pick three Democratic members by Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Tuesday appointed Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and — to co-chair the panel — Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. Murray also chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).