Boehner, McConnell Announce GOP Super Committee Picks

Elisabeth Meinecke
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Posted: Aug 10, 2011 11:23 AM

Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced his House GOP representatives to serve on the Super Committee tasked with deficit reduction: Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Rep. David Camp of Michigan, and Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan. Hensarling will serve as co-chair of the committee, formally known as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

Hensarling previously chaired the Republican Study Committee, the conservative caucus in the House, and now serves as chairman of the House Republican Conference. Camp and Upton are chairs of House Ways & Means Committee and House Energy & Commerce, respectively. Camp is also a Republican Study Committee member. Upton is not.

To give you an idea of where they line up on the conservative spectrum, Hensarling voted against TARP, while Camp and Upton voted for it (the TARP vote saw interesting splits in the GOP House faction, with Boehner and Rep. Paul Ryan voting for it, and Rep. Mike Pence and Rep. Michele Bachmann voting against it).

For those wondering why GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan was not selected as a member of the committee, Ryan released a statement saying he asked Boehner to not be named.

"I asked the Speaker not to consider me for the Joint Committee, because only the Budget Committee can write legislation to reform the budget process. As Budget Committee chairman, my plan has long been to work on this critical issue throughout the fall. This past year has shown that the federal budget process is more broken than ever and needs to be reformed," Ryan's statement said.  “The House Budget Committee plans to complement the Joint Committee’s work this fall by holding hearings and marking up legislation to put in place common-sense controls that stop the spending spree in Washington."

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has named his three selections to the committee: Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Rob Portman of Ohio.

Toomey and Portman are the only first-term elected officials representing the GOP, although both previously served in the U.S. House. Toomey is probably the closest to "tea party freshman" that any of the GOP representatives on the committee get. As far as marquee names against overreaching government, Kyl and Hensarling have been fighting that fight for awhile. Kyl did vote for the debt ceiling deal passed in August, while Toomey voted against it.

Sen. Harry Reid named his three selections to the committee earlier.