Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reid's Nominations

Majority Leader Reid has announced his nominations to the Supreme Soviet Executive CommitteeUS Congress Super Committee. The Democratic Senators, and one twelfth of the panel will be Senators Max Baucus, Patty Murray, and John Kerry.

It's an interesting slate, with Baucus representing the right of the Democratic caucus and Kerry representing the center. Patty Murray as the DSCC chair also has brings the responsibility of not losing the Democratic Majority in 2012 to the table. Personally, however, Murray has the most to lose, just by virtue of heading the DSCC this cycle. All three of these senators are well insulated from political pressure. Baucus is next up for reelection in 2014. Murray is due for a reelect campaign in 2016, and John Kerry represents Massachusetts.

There's no good news for policy here. Max Baucus has consistently been on the wrong side of tax policy. He supported the 2001 round of the Bush Tax Cuts, the largest single discretionary cause of our deficit. He has supported the removal of the estate tax. Here's a headscratcher: why did the Hill call Max Baucus a liberal?

Murray, of course, represents Washington state. Boeing is Washington's big business interest, along with tech companies. Don't expect Patty Murray to look to intently for spending cuts to wasteful Defense initiatives or anti-competitive Buy-American spending items.

John Kerry is a fine Senator, and has been able to successfully reach across the aisle on many occasions. Two examples are the climate change act which was signed into law never got off the ground. He's probably the best bet for good policy from the Senate Democrats, but that also makes him the most likely to be ignored.

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