Arizona Senator and GOP Senate Whip Jon Kyl made the case on my programtonight for supporting some version of the McConnell/Reid/Boehner plan. (The full transcript is here.)
The concerns I (and apparently many, many conservatives in the House GOP Caucus) have relate to the prospect of a runaway “supercommittee” which presents a work product that must be given an up-or-down vote, and which could gut defense spending or layer on tax hikes in the form of reduced or eliminated deductions, or both. The supercommittee’s plan will sail through the Senate under any circumstances, and it would only take 24 or 25 Republicans voting with Democrats to push through a radical set of changes to the nation’s security posture or its tax code.
At a minimum the Speaker should announce the three members of the supercommittee he would appoint, as well as the alternate if someone quits. If Buck McKeon (an expert on defense), Tom Price (the expert on Obamacare’s menace) and John Campbell (a budget hawk and a very smart genuine accountant) were on the supercommittee, it would be a whole lot easier to stomach than if the Speaker even puts one appropriator on it.
The president’s increasingly shrill rhetoric and outlandish arguments have made him almost irrelevant to the debate, but the House Freshmen are very much a key constituency, and before they cede their hard won mandate from November to a supercommittee and the two dozen most liberal/moderate Republicans, they ought to at least know who holds their future in their hands.