The deficit panel has already set to work, holding conference calls and using the congressional recess to begin their process. As its members face a Thanksgiving deadline for making their recommendations to find $1.5 trillion in budget savings over 10 years, speculation continues regarding their chances for success.
Politico: Super Committee Talks Have Begun, Says Fred Upton
The 12-member debt committee has already held conference calls and may have a website up by the end of the week, Rep. Fred Upton said Monday. Upton, a super committee member, told WNDU in South Bend, Ind., that the debt panel is already hard at work despite being spread about the country during the congressional recess (Berman, 8/22).
NPR: How Super Is The Deficit-Cutting Committee?
While there are high hopes in Washington for the committee's success, skeptics have trouble seeing how the chosen lawmakers will navigate around the main sticking points: Democrats seem set on protecting Medicare and Medicaid and see increasing revenues as essential. Republicans would prefer to lower taxes if anything and want to make cuts to the big entitlement programs. NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving assesses the members, what they bring to the table and how they voted on the final debt-ceiling deal (8/23).
NPR: For Sen. Baucus, Deficit Panel May Be An Opportunity
University of Montana political science professor Christopher Muste says that while Baucus is considered a progressive on many social and environmental issues, he has become a conservative anchor for the Democratic Party on fiscal issues. ... Muste says one of those coalitions Baucus attempted to forge was during the debate on health care. Baucus angered many liberal Democrats when he took the public option off the table in a failed attempt to bring more conservative Republicans onboard (Ritter, 8/23).