Nancy Pelosi made her three picks today to fill out the remaining slots on the Super Congress:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday picked Democratic Reps. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Jim Clyburn of South Carolina and Xavier Becerra of California to serve on the bipartisan House and Senate super committee that will seek $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction cuts by Nov. 23.
Pelosi’s choices finalize the 12-seat roster of the panel, with its nine other members previously announced by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Van Hollen is the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. Clyburn – the highest ranking African-American member of the House -- is the assistant Democratic leader. Both men served as Pelosi’s choices for spots on the bipartisan budget working group this year headed by Vice President Joe Biden.
Becerra is the highest ranking Latino lawmaker in the House. He is also the Democratic Caucus’ vice chairman and a member of the Ways and Means Committee. He served on the special White House deficit-reduction commission co-chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, eventually voting against its recommendations.
In announcing her picks, Pelosi said the aim of the committee should be a “grand bargain" that “reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”
If only strengthening our social safety nets was something that a Grand Bargain would do. While Nancy's picks weren't all that bad, I'm not sure how much it all matters at this point who's on the committee because the administration has taken up the Conservative line on the deficit and spending cuts even as the country refutes that line. I hate this Super Congress idea and it won't take many Dems to trade in Democratic values to get a deal done when every one of the Republicans are ideologues to the bone. How is a compromise going to happen? Will all these picks actually fight for the working class? A new Washington Post poll shows that Obama and our entire political system took a big hit over the debt ceiling fiasco.
Among those who said Washington is focused on the wrong issues, 30 percent blamed Obama and Democrats, 30 percent blamed Republicans and 32 percent blamed both sides equally.
Confidence in Obama to make the right decisions for the country’s economic future is down 10 points, to 33 percent, since January. Confidence in congressional Republicans, at 35 percent in January, dropped to 18 percent.
If becoming a deficit hawk and actually being the adult in the room was supposed to win over Independent voters, I'd say that strategy didn't fair too well.