It's the Joint: Deal-Curious Republicans Added to Supercommittee

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 10 2011 12:59 PM

It's the Joint: Deal-Curious Republicans Added to Supercommittee

Felicia Sonmez has the supercommittee Republican picks. From the Boehner file: GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex. Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich. From the McConnell file: Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

The Portman pick is the single greatest reason for liberals to hope that revenue ends up in a supercommittee plan. He said as much to Dana Milbank.

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Though Portman signed an anti-tax pledge, he sees the possibility for more tax revenue as part of an overall tax-reform package. He also sees “hope around the corner” that the debt standoff can be resolved.

Kyl, meanwhile, has nothing to lose: He's retiring. If the Democrats couldn't get a Snowe, a Collins, or a Gang of Six-er on the committee, this is about as good as they could have done. Toomey, the elder statesman of the Tea Party freshmen (he'd served three terms in the House before his 2010 comeback), so of the Republicans who voted "no" on the debt deal, he's the one Democrats can do business with. (There'll be no Ron Johnson or Rand Paul to toss grenades in the pond. Also, that rumor that "no" voters would be denied supercommittee slots was just that. A rumor.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.