Our Capitol Hill insider, the Honorable Elizabeth Letchworth (who is a guest every Wednesday night on The ANDREA SHEA KING SHOW) says that Congress is preparing to receive language from the Super Committee by early next week that will fulfill the requirements of the Budget Control Act.
They have had meetings with the House and Senate parliamentarians to make sure that the Super Committee meets all requirements of the law and that they aren’t any surprises such as points of order raised after the Super Committee votes.
The one date that is firm is the date of the 23rd of November to have the committee vote on the language. It is unclear if the language can be more conceptual and not actually legislative language. The idea that extending this deadline past the Nov. 23rd date has be kicked around by some in the leadership. They have always believed that they could extend this date by including such an extension in the Continuing Resolution which will need to be passed and signed into law by close of business this Friday. The leadership doesn’t like this idea, but if the Super Committee can agree on a concept but can’t get the language written by the 23rd, they might be agreeable to adding an extension of the time into the Continuing Resolution.
The staff believe they will ultimately produce a bill that contains the “low hanging fruit” from the Simpson/Bowles debt commission and the “Senate Gang of 6” totaling about $800B. The Super Committee would then instruct Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce as well as the Finance Committee to produce a second bill that would achieve the additional savings in tax reforms and entitlement reforms. This second procedure would have fast-track language for House and Senate consideration and a reporting date of early Spring, 2012.
Greasing palms and cutting deals”The bipartisan debt panel to nowhere is exactly where K Street lobbyists want it to be: hopelessly deadlocked.
… Instead, we are witnessing another obscene special-interest splurge to preserve the status quo. All in the name of ‘reform,’ of course. The only thing ‘super’ about the so-called budget control super committee is the size of lobbying muscle exerted on its members. Almost 100 registered lobbyists who are former employees of super committee members are now ‘representing defense companies, health-care conglomerates, Wall Street banks and others with a vested interest in the outcome of the panel’s work,’ the Washington Post found in September.
… On the other side of the revolving door, 10 out of the panel’s 12 members have now raked in donations from foreign registered agents totaling more than $50,000 in direct campaign contributions during 2011 alone, according to government watchdogs.
… Moreover, all 12 super committee members have been contacted by foreign lobbyists, eager to secure targeted exemptions, loopholes and protectionism.
… [Last] week, the Seattle Times disclosed that [super committee co-chair Patty] Murray held a two-day staff retreat at heavyweight lobbying outfit Strategies 360, which was founded by Democratic political operative Ron Dotzauer. The group donated meeting space to Murray’s team and skirted ethics rules by offering similar deals to nonprofits.
… According to OpenSecrets.org, Strategies 360 has conducted $985,000 worth of lobbying targeting more than a dozen government agencies this year. A spokesman for the senator … sniffed that the report was a ‘non-story.’
… Remember: The ‘K’ in ‘K Street’ stands for ‘Kabuki.'” –columnist Michelle Malkin