Update: Republicans have named their members of the so-called super committee. On the House side: Reps. Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Dave Camp (Mich.), and Fred Upton (Mich.). On the Senate side: Sens. Jon Kyl (Arizona), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Rob Portman (Ohio).
Sen. Harry Reid has made his selection of Democratic senators to serve on the Super Committee, a bicameral and bipartisan committee designed as part of the debt deal to eliminate at least $1.2 trillion in debt over the next ten years. Reid chose three senior Democrats, Sen. Patty Murray, who also heads the DSCC, Sen. Max Baucus, finance chairman, and Sen. John Kerry, foreign relations chairman, and Sen. Mitch McConnell is expected to make his selection of three Republican senators in the next 24 hours. Who do you think he should pick? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Two of Reid's selections are unlikely to avoid new taxes. As explained at Hot Air, Murray will be reluctant to compromise given her position as head of the DSCC this election cycle, while Kerry recently referred to the credit downgrade as the "Tea Party downgrade." Baucus could lean slightly more right, as many leftists see him as too much of a compromiser with Republicans. As David Weigel described Baucus at Slate,
Why "liberal nightmare"? Let us recall: Max Baucus, as ranking member then chairman of the finance committee, gave the Bush tax cuts some of the Democratic support they needed to pass. In 2009, Baucus's "gang of six" health care dream resulted in nothing, unless you count the lengthy delay it caused for getting a health care bill over to a Senate vote. And the process and delay were key to the mammoth unpopularity of health care reform. Baucus has also become one of the party's more credible voices for deficit reduction at the expense of sacred cows.
Baucus also might have been positioned to encourage McConnell to appoint more moderate Republicans, avoiding members of the Tea Party caucus. Some are hoping for a selection of moderates to make the compromising process move faster, but with the appointments of liberal Democrats like Murray and Kerry, it could be unwise to appoint more moderate Republicans who aren't as bent on fiscal reform. Appointing strong fiscal conservatives like Sen. Rand Paul or Sen. Marco Rubio would provide the voice for such reform, but could also severely delay any major spending cuts. Who do you think the best Republican appointees would be?