Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have announced their selections of Republicans to staff the “Super Congress” mandated by the debt limit deal, and neither Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan nor any House freshmen members were chosen.
Boehner appointed House Republican Conference chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas to be the co-chair opposite Washington Senate Democrat Patty Murray, as well as two committee chairs: Ways & Means chairman Dave Camp and Energy & Commerce chairman Fred Upton, both of Michigan.
From the Senate, McConnell chose Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsyvania, and Rob Portman of Ohio.
Of the six Republicans named to the committee, only Toomey voted against the debt ceiling bill. None of the senators chosen were members of the Gang of Six who have already been working on similar issues for months.
Although Ryan was thought of as a natural choice for the co-chair of the Super Congress, he released a statement praising the picks and explaining that he had asked not to be included in order to continue working on deficit reform in his role as Budget Committee chief.
Instead, Hensarling will manage the Republicans’ negotiations. Hensarling is one of the most consistent Republican proponents of cutting spending.
With Max Baucus of Montana and John Kerry of Massachusetts rounding out the Senate Democratic selections, only Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrat picks remain to be seen.
Update: Toomey and Portman, of course, are freshman senators.
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