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Spin Control

Posts tagged: supercommittee

Supercommittee gives up

It's official: The Supercommittee isn't super. It's a bust

A press release from Sen. Patty Murray and her supercomm co-chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling acknowledge as much today.

Of course, they tried to put the best face on it possible, saying that they hope Congress can build on the work the supercomm did “and find a way to tackle this issue in a way that works for the American people and the economy.”

And in honor of Thanksgiving, they thanked the American people “for sharing thoughts and ideas and providing support and good will as we worked to accomplish this difficult task.”

Not sure how much good will is likely to continue, considering that the task was not accomplished. But, you know, they did need some kind of holiday reference, and it would've probably been inappropriate to suggest that this whole thing was a turkey.

To read the whole statement, go inside the blog.

The supercommittee roars to life

Those wondering when the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction — a.k.a. the Supercommittee — will get up and running need wonder no more.

A press release from Sen. Patty Murray and her Supercommittee Co-chairman, Rep. Jeb Hensarling announced the panel will have its “organizational meeting” next Thursday, Sept. 8. Members will “make opening statements and consider proposed committee rules.”

Sept. 8. Hmmm. Why does that date seem familiar?

Oh yeah, that's when House Speaker John Boehner invited President Obama over to the Capitol to address a joint session of Congress on jobs. So look out recession. Between the Supercommittee and Obama, all this speechifying is sure to do knock you for a loop.

The committee also has a hearing scheduled for Sept. 13, which will feature the head of the Congressional Budget Office and focus on “The History and Drivers of Our Nation's Debt and Its Threats.” 

Hopefully, this will consist of more than “We've been spending more money than we take in, for a very long time, and it's not a good thing to keep doing.”

What’s up with the Supercommittee?

So what's the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka the supercommittee, doing two weeks after it got set up? Tons of stuff, according to co-chairpersons Patty Murray and Jeb Hensarling.

Engaging in serious discussions. Deciding on the rules.Setting a schedule. “And exploring how to build a committee staff that will help us achieve success” the Washington Democrat in the Senate and the Texas Republican in the House said in a joint statement today.

Oh, and committee members and staff are “eager to engage one another as we begin our work.”

Good thing, too, considering there's only three months left before the committee's recommendations for cuts or taxes is due.

Want to read the full statement? Click here to go inside the blog.

Murray actually does do budgets

Sen. Patty Murray is getting flak from all sides after her appointment as co-chairman of the budget cutting supercommittee.

Republicans and government watchdog groups continue to complain that she's also the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which has as its sole raison d'etre the raising of money for the electing of Democrats to the Senate. It's a reasonable complaint that will probably only be silenced if the committee comes back with budget proposals that go against entrenched interests AND pass Congress.

But Grover Norquist, the leader of Americans For Tax Reform — which gets candidates to sign pledges to never, never, never raise taxes, ever — levelled one that seemed a tad uninformed in a recent issue of The New York Times.

“The lady from Washington doesn't do budgets,” Norquist reportedly told the Times.

As genteel as it is for Norquist to refer to Murray as a lady (a term that probably sends some of her feminist supporters up a wall) the real problem is that the premise just isn't true. She's on the Budget Committee. She's on the Appropriations Committee. She has been and continues to be the head of Appropriations subcommittees. The main criticism of her by opposing Republicans has been that she uses the budgeting system too well and taps it with earmarks. That requires strong knowledge of the system, not a lack of knowledge of the system.

One must allow, of course, for the prospect that a commie, pinko publication like the Times misquoted Norquist — on the budget part, if not the lady part. But if not, researchers for Americans For Tax Reform might want to try a Google search before firing their next salvo.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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