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Tea Party should have been represented in committee weighing spending cuts

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  August 11, 2011 11:34 AM

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Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both named their selections to the “super committee” of twelve lawmakers yesterday that is charged with brokering a deal on spending cuts. However, despite all the talk of the influence of the Tea Party in the debt ceiling debate, not one of the six picks is a self-identified member of the Tea Party Caucus, and all of them are Congressional veterans. (Although two newly elected Senators were appointed, Rob Portman and Pat Toomey, both had previously served in the House of Representatives).

The newly elected “Tea Party” members of the House are shaping up to be a major influence on policy, and it’s a shame that they’re not represented. After all, the committee only exists because of the debt ceiling impasse caused in part by the obstinacy of this political faction. To achieve its goals, the committee will need to achieve a broad consensus in both parties and both houses. Regardless of whether one thinks the Tea Partiers are patriots or terrorists, they represent an important bloc in Congress and one that should have been represented — if only to ensure that any eventual agreement has buy-in from the broadest possible cross-section of Congress.

Globe file: Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, right, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky earlier this year.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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