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 Houston Chronicle:
There was U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, in her coveted State of the Union perch along the aisle. Wearing an eye-catching lime-green jacket, she got her brief moment of TV exposure and a handshake from President Barack Obama, as usual, as the president made his way into the august chamber of the House.
This time, though, instead of sitting in a bloc with her fellow Democrats, Lee sat beside a real live Republican, U.S. Rep. Pete Olson of Sugar Land.
The two Houston lawmakers were enthusiastic participants in the State of the Union “date night,” a bipartisan gesture prompted by the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., earlier this month.
The pre-speech curiosity was almost Oscar-night giddy — or maybe prom-night giddy — as lawmakers over the past several days paired off.
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From Andrew Romano at THE DAILY BEAST:
Michele Bachmann has certainly been keeping busy.
Within hours of winning her third congressional term in November, the colorful Minnesota Republican began campaigning for conference chair, the No. 4 position in the House GOP leadership. Why? Because “constitutional conservatives”—like her and, presumably, unlike the rest of John Boehner’s team—”deserve a loud and clear voice!” A few weeks later, news leaked that Bachmann would be traveling to Iowa for a fundraiser—and that “nothing,” according to her spokesman, “is off the table.” Asked whether she was considering a presidential run, Bachmann told ABC News “I’m going to Iowa—there’s your answer.”
Then on Friday Bachmann announced that even though Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is slated to deliver the official Republican response to President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address, she would be giving her own online rebuttal on behalf of the Tea Party Express “shortly after” Ryan’s speech concludes.
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From POLITICAL HOTSHEET at CBS NEWS:
It was one of the most compelling moments of Barack Obama’s presidency: The president taking questions from some of his harshest critics in the opposition, and, in the process, castigating them for casting his policies as to the extreme left.
Mr. Obama told members of the House GOP at a Baltimore retreat that their decision to tell their constituents he is “going to destroy America” had made it virtually impossible for them to vote with Democrats on even moderate policies, at least if they didn’t want to jeopardize their reelection prospects.
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From Congressional Quarterly:
The man at the center of a burgeoning fiscal scandal involving the National Republican Congressional Committee served as treasurer for dozens of political fundraising committees, and lawmakers are quickly distancing themselves from him.
At least 10 members of Congress have dropped Christopher J. Ward as treasurer of their re-election campaigns or political action committees.
In front, left to right: Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
In back, left to right: Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Phil English (R-PA), Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY), and Rep. James T. Walsh (R-NY)
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