By Richard A. Viguerie - 8/11/11
Republican House Speaker John Boehner has made his three appointments to the “super committee” created by the recent debt ceiling deal. Tea Party and conservative activists can take some comfort that the appointees could have been worse, but we still must give the committee's deliberations our unrelenting attention.
House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan both served on the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission and voted against the Commission’s final tax-laden report and recommendations.
More on them later.
The appointment of House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan is less encouraging. Conservatives opposed the appointment of Upton to the important Energy and Commerce Chairmanship for a number of reasons, not the least of which was his sponsorship of the much-hated incandescent light bulb ban.
The fact that Upton made it through the tangled GOP Steering Committee process to gain the powerful Energy and Commerce Chairmanship was the first inkling Tea Party activists had that the establishment’s grip on the House GOP was as strong as ever.
Hensarling and Camp have generally been regarded as strong fiscal conservatives, however the compromises they have made to gain leadership positions have caused many activists outside the Beltway to question their willingness to buck the business-as-usual elite and make the hard choices necessary to stop the spending crisis.
Both Upton and Camp voted for the TARP Wall Street bailout and the Boehner debt ceiling deal. Hensarling, who led the opposition to TARP, and because of that was in the doghouse with Boehner for several years, apparently checked those qualms at the door when he became House Republican Conference Chairman – he has been nearly invisible on spending issues this Congress, except when he comes forth to rally support for Boehner’s instinct to make a deal, as he did on the debt ceiling vote.
House Republicans made a major blunder when they did not commit to cut, cap and balance as their ultimate legislative goal in the debt ceiling fight. Tea Party and conservative movement activists outside the Beltway don’t plan on retreating from their goal of ending the spending crisis by cutting, capping and balancing the federal budget. Conservatives will be watching every move made by the Republicans on the debt deal committee.