New Jockeying in Congress for Next Phase in Budget Fight

New York Times
August 3, 2011

WASHINGTON — Republicans and Democrats maneuvered for advantage on Wednesday in the next battle over federal spending, trying to influence the choice of members and frame the agenda for a powerful “supercommittee” that is supposed to recommend at least $1.5 trillion of additional deficit reduction measures.

A huge fight has already erupted over how to count the costs of extending tax cuts for high-income people, which are due to expire at the end of 2012. Republicans want to extend the tax cuts, but Democrats want the cuts for more affluent people to expire.

Congressional leaders have two weeks to name panel members. Names of candidates were circulating Wednesday on Capitol Hill, and some lawmakers have been quietly promoting themselves or their friends for spots on the 12-member panel, which will consist of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats from the House and the Senate.

Another lobbyist, Michael H. Herson, president of American Defense International (ADI), said, “The defense industry is just coming to grips with the new law — and the prospect of cuts that could have a devastating impact on jobs, manufacturers and national security preparedness.”

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