The "Not So" Grand Bargain: The "Nightmarish List" Of Members Of The Newly Appointed Budget Committee [Part 2]
[Photo Credit: We need to get this to the Fiscal Cliff! What could go wrong?, DonkeyHotey's Photostream, flickr]
This will be brief.
While reading my Twitter feed, I found the list below included as a link in a HuffPo piece by Jason Linkuns. The piece entitled "This Should Be Fun: Sen. Bernie Sanders Will Be On Budget Conference Committee," gave me pause.
Heck, I couldn't quite tell, but it sure sounded like he might think so.
Which is not to say that Senator Sanders would not have good intentions. But can it be expected that one man could possibly thwart the will of such a large (and mostly conservative) Committee like this one?
I had to wonder--does Linkins have any idea of the ideological leanings of most of these Democrats?
Linkins states that:
"This ensures that beneficiaries of these programs will, at the very least, have one strong, supportive voice in the room who won't go down in a squishy heap of "grand bargaining." (I'm sure Paul Ryan is thrilled.)"
Frankly, I doubt seriously that Representative Ryan would be in the least bit concerned that Sanders has been appointed to the Budget Conference Committee.
Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.)
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.)
Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.)
From Senate Democratic Caucus:
Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)
Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.)
Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)
Sen. Mark Warner (Va.)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.)
Sen. Chris Coons (Del.)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)
Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)
Sen. Angus King (Maine)
In case anyone cares, here's the list of Republicans:
Paul Ryan (Wis.)
Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.)
Rep. Tom Price (Ga.)
Rep. Diane Black (Tenn.)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.)
Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa)
Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.)
Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)
Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.)
Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.)
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.)
Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.)
The idea that this many off-the-charts "budget hawks" will not be able to come to any agreement on cutting--or looking at this list, possibly slashing--Social Security and Medicare benefits is ludicrous on its face.
Below are current contact numbers for lawmakers and the White House.
Capital Hill Switchboard: 1-202-224-3121
White House Number: 1-202-456-1414
I will revisit and update this post soon to fill-in some of the background on Budget Conference Committee members.
However, at a glance, I can say that it is well-documented that several of these lawmakers are in favor of "striking a Grand Bargain."
And at least a couple of lawmakers are not only in favor of (expanded) means-testing of Medicare, but in favor of means-testing Social Security. Several Democrats are DLCers, and at least one lawmaker (an Independent) is associated with No Labels.