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.”
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From THE HILL:
Congressional leaders have until Aug. 16 to name the 12 members of the newly created “supercommittee” to deal with reducing the deficit, but special interest groups are wasting no time in pushing their choices for the panel.
The debt-ceiling-increase legislation enacted Tuesday created a bicameral, joint committee of 12 legislators charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts by Nov. 23.
Failure to come up with a plan will result in deep automatic defense and Medicare cuts.
One wrong pick, lobbyists on the right and left said Wednesday, could swing the panel toward a terrible compromise. So they are not taking chances.
These sources are already urging leaders to pick top lieutenants who will stick to party positions — no entitlement cuts for Democrats and no tax increases for Republicans.
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From The Guardian:
It was easy wandering round the corridors of Congress yesterday to spot who had won the debt standoff. In huddles with party colleagues or heading off to caucus meetings to discuss the details of the deal or standing in front of TV cameras, it was the Republicans who had all the smiles.
Democratic members of Congress looked uneasy, at times shifty; and some downright were angry. “If I were a Republican, this is a night to party,” Emanuel Cleaver, a Democratic member of the House from Missouri, told MSNBC. Cleaver, a Methodist pastor and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, which met to discuss its reaction to the deal, dismissed it as a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich”.
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From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:
Vice President Joe Biden’s deficit reduction talks imploded today after the only two Republicans involved in the negotiations announced they are halting their participation because of their objections to Democratic demands for “tax increases.”
Democrats meanwhile, suggested Republicans are “playing with fire” by holding up a vote on raising the debt ceiling.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced this morning that he would skip today’s scheduled meeting because “Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases.”
Subsequently, Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona announced he was pulling out of the negotiations.
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From the Christian Post:
A conservative Christian group sent Louisiana Senator David Vitter, who in 2007 confessed to using the services of a high-profile prostitution ring, a letter Monday calling on him to follow former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner’s lead and resign.
Several Democratic leaders, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, had called for Weiner’s resignation.
Unlike Weiner, Vitter, who admitted to “serious sin” in 2007 after his number was disclosed by the alleged prostitution ring “D.C. Madam,” never faced the same pressure from fellow Republicans to resign following his scandal.
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So maybe it wasn’t the best timing in the world: Even as House Republicans face tough questions at their town hall meetings about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, Speaker John Boehner has given an interview in which he said Ryan’s plan was an idea “worthy of consideration” and that he wasn’t “wedded to it.”
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Tuesday’s breakdown in Republican discipline weakens Speaker John Boehner’s hand in White House budget talks and raises the chances of a government shutdown next month unless he and President Barack Obama greatly step up their game.
Fifty-four Republicans broke ranks with Boehner, leaving him suddenly dependent on Democrats to win House approval of a must-pass three-week spending bill to keep the government operating past Friday. Tea-party-backed freshmen contributed to the embarrassment, but an equal force was a set of more veteran conservatives — some with their own political agenda but also more willing to risk an immediate fight with the White House.
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