Amid Standoff, a New Super Committee?

House Speaker John Boehner speaks with President Obama about a possible deal to prevent a shutdown.
National Journal
Billy House
Add to Briefcase
Billy House
Oct. 8, 2013, 8:52 a.m.

Demo­crats already are pan­ning it as a “su­per com­mit­tee” re­dux, but House Re­pub­lic­ans are set to act Tues­day on a bill to es­tab­lish a new pan­el of House and Sen­ate mem­bers to work out com­prom­ises on re­open­ing gov­ern­ment and hik­ing the debt-ceil­ing.

The move is the latest House GOP ef­fort to il­lus­trate they are will­ing to sit down and ne­go­ti­ate, even as Speak­er John Boehner’s of­fice said Tues­day that he’d re­ceived a call from Pres­id­ent Obama re­fus­ing to do so.

“The pres­id­ent called the speak­er again today to re­it­er­ate that he won’t ne­go­ti­ate on a gov­ern­ment fund­ing bill or debt lim­it in­crease,” said Boehner spokes­man Brendan Buck.

Obama and Demo­crats have con­tin­ued to urge Boehner, R-Ohio, to simply put “clean” bills to re­start gov­ern­ment fund­ing and al­low the na­tion to keep bor­row­ing on the floor for an up-or down vote, without the policy con­ces­sions de­man­ded by Re­pub­lic­ans.

As a res­ult, House Re­pub­lic­ans have launched their new bicam­er­al com­mit­tee idea, which one seni­or Demo­crat­ic House staffer fa­cetiously re­ferred to as “the Cruz com­mit­tee,” a ref­er­ence to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex.

Ac­cord­ing to a draft of the new bill, the GOP’s “Bicam­er­al Work­ing Group on De­fi­cit Re­duc­tion and Eco­nom­ic Growth” would be charged with re­com­mend­ing to the full House and Sen­ate: over­all levels of dis­cre­tion­ary spend­ing for the fisc­al year end­ing on Sept. 30, 2014; changes in the stat­utory lim­it on the pub­lic debt; and re­forms to dir­ect spend­ing pro­grams.

The com­mit­tee’s roster would be com­prised of 10 House mem­bers, in­clud­ing six Re­pub­lic­ans and four to be chosen by Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal­if. Boehner would des­ig­nate a House co-chair. Of the 10 Sen­ate mem­bers, six would be Demo­crats and four will be chosen by Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, R-Ky. A Sen­ate co-chair will be se­lec­ted by Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev.

The group would first meet no later than the day after its mem­bers are ap­poin­ted. It could not make any re­com­mend­a­tion to the full House and Sen­ate un­less it re­ceives the sup­port of a ma­jor­ity of the mem­bers ap­poin­ted by both the Speak­er and the ma­jor­ity lead­er of the Sen­ate. It would then have to re­port those re­com­mend­a­tions with­in three days.

Sen­ate Demo­crats sounds am­bi­val­ent to the idea, and in­stead re­in­force their po­s­i­tion when asked wheth­er they’d sup­port such a group. “I think our view is that we will look at any pro­cess that will get is to a budget,” said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. “But we won’t do it as long as gov­ern­ment is closed or there’s a threat that we’re not pay­ing our bills.”

Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans did not em­brace the idea. Sen Ro­ger Wick­er, R-Miss., poin­ted out that the su­per com­mit­tee in­cluded a trig­ger that led to se­quest­ra­tion cuts. With­hold­ing ul­ti­mate judg­ment, Wick­er said he’d wait to see what the le­gis­la­tion was be­fore an­noun­cing his po­s­i­tion.

The bill to es­tab­lish the com­mit­tee could be ac­ted on as early as Tues­day. It is ex­pec­ted to be com­bined un­der one rule with a sep­ar­ate bill that would al­low es­sen­tial fed­er­al per­son­nel to be paid dur­ing the shut­down.

“The way to re­solve this is to sit down and have a con­ver­sa­tion to re­solve our dif­fer­ences,” Boehner said on Tues­day, a point he has made sev­er­al times.

But House Demo­crats re­acted swiftly to pan the idea of the new com­mit­tee ““ not­ing that the 2011 de­fi­cit-re­duc­tion “su­per com­mit­tee” was not able to reach any agree­ment, and that se­quest­ra­tion was the res­ult.

House Demo­crat­ic Con­fer­ence Chair­man Xavi­er Be­cerra, D-Cal­if., at a news con­fer­ence Tues­day with oth­er Demo­crats, con­tin­ued to de­mand that Boehner simply put a “clean” spend­ing bill on the House floor to end the shut­down and for law­makers to do their jobs through nor­mal le­gis­lat­ive pro­cess.

Be­cerra him­self was a mem­ber of the 2011 su­per com­mit­tee. As he put it, “There was noth­ing su­per about it.”

What We're Following See More »
ABSENT FROM LIST: GENNIFER FLOWERS
Most Trump Guests Have Military Ties
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
TOP OF MIND
Trending on Google: ‘Why Should Trump Not Be President’
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
WHO PLAYED THE DONALD?
Longtime Clinton Aide Played Trump in Mock Debates
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

After keeping the information private for most of the lead-up to the debate on Monday, it has been revealed that longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines has been playing the role of Donald Trump in her debate prep. Reines knows Clinton better than most, able to identify both her strengths and weaknesses, and his selection for a sparring partner shows that Clinton is preparing for the brash and confrontational Donald Trump many have come to expect.

Source:
WEEKEND POLLING ROUNDUP
New Polls Still Show Razor-Thin Margins
5 hours ago
THE LATEST
  • A national Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Clinton leading Trump by just two points among likely voters, 46% to 44%.
  • A national Bloomberg poll out Monday morning by Selzer & Co. has Clinton and Trump tied at 46% in a two-way race, and Trump ahead 43% to 41% in a four-way race.
  • A CNN/ORC poll in Colorado shows likely voters’ support for Trump at 42%, 41% for Clinton, and a CNN/ORC poll in Pennsylvania has Clinton at 45% and Trump at 44%.
  • A Portland Press Herald/UNH survey in Maine has Clinton leading Trump in ME-01 and Trump ahead in ME-02.
THE QUESTION
How Many Times Has the Trump Campaign Emailed Ted Cruz’s Supporters?
5 hours ago
THE ANSWER

More than 30 times, in the case of some donors. Long before Cruz endorsed Trump—and before he even snubbed the nominee at the Republican National Convention—"the senator quietly began renting his vast donor email file to his former rival, pocketing at least tens of thousands of dollars, and more likely hundreds of thousands, that can be used to bankroll the Texan’s own political future."

Source:
×