by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Timothy P. Carney uses his latest Washington Examiner article to raise red flags about the links between powerful special interests and members of the new congressional “supercommittee” created as part of the recent debt-limit deal.
The combination of the famously industry-friendly and artful dealer [Max] Baucus with the Senate Democrats’ top fundraiser [Patsy] Murray is unnerving for anyone looking to the debt supercommittee for serious legislation in the public interest.
The 12-person committee, consisting of three Republicans and three Democrats from each chamber, is empowered by the August debt deal to craft a plan of spending cuts and possibly tax increases to reduce the 10-year deficit. If they fail to pass a plan, this triggers automatic cuts in defense spending and other items.
Big business will have lots of skin in the game. …
… Health care and defense aren’t the only two industries with close ties to the supercommittee, and Republicans on the panel are almost as cozy with K Street as Murray and Baucus. But given the history of Baucus, the DSCC, and industry deals over major legislation, these two senators are the ones to watch if you’re looking for the influence of special interests in the debt negotiations.