The king makers. (Source: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
Perhaps relishing the opportunity to wield the power of being one of twelve rather than one of a hundred, plenty of Senators appear to be lining up to be in charge of the next decade's budget
, but it's the potential composition of that team that's getting highly political now.
The composition of the committee will be an early indication of its prospects. Republicans, in particular, are under intense pressure to choose members who will not compromise in their opposition to any deal that involves increased revenues. And members of both parties are interested in overhauling the tax code to eliminate tax breaks and simplify the laws.[...]
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said members of the panel must have "open minds." The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi of California, said her appointees would “fight to protect” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Republican leaders indicated they would not appoint anyone willing to raise taxes.
Harry Reid, out of the gate, said "it’s extremely important that I pick people who are willing to make hard choices but are not locked in," and McConnell, out of the gate, said revenue was off the table. Greg Sargent isn't the only one who looks at that and asks: "Why is there no sense whatsoever of any meaningful pressure on Dems to choose members who will insist on revenue increases and draw hard lines against entitlements benefits cuts?"
It's time for some of that pressure, apparently, because one side cannot cede this process even before it begins. This ThinkProgress petition is one way to exert some. Or contacting Reid directly is another.