Rep. Loebsack asks leadership for supercommittee transparency
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack joined a bipartisan group of 16 members of Congress Thursday who are demanding an open and transparent process when a recently formed “super committee” on government spending begins meeting and negotiating.
Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/dave_loebsack_125.jpgDave Loebsack
As part of the debt ceiling deal struck by Congress on Aug. 2, a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, referred to casually as a “super committee,” was formed by leadership in the U.S. House and Senate. Three members from each political party in each chamber have been assigned to the committee, which is tasked with reducing the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion.
Loebsack, who is a member of the House Transparency Caucus, and the 16 members penned a letter to House and Senate leadership, that provided four specific requests:
- All meetings and hearings should be publicly noticed in advance, open to the public, broadcast live over the internet, and archived on the Committee’s website;
- The final legislative language put forward by the Committee should be posted online at least 72 hours prior to the final Committee vote;
- Campaign contributions received by Committee members should be posted online at least once per week to ensure proper oversight of donations from special interests to Committee members;
- All meetings between lobbyists and other special interest groups and members of the Committee and their staffs should be posted online at least once per week, as was done with the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
“Holding extraordinary powers over trillions of dollars in spending and revenues, the 12 Committee members will face unprecedented pressure from special interest groups,” stated the letter. “We simply want to ensure that the process by which these critical decisions are made, that will result in billions of dollars in budget cuts impacting every American, will be as open, transparent and accountable as possible.”
In addition to Loebsack, an Iowa Democrat, the letter was signed by Democrats Mike Quigley of Illinois, John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Donna Edwards of Maryland, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Barbara Lee of California, John Tierney of Massachusetts, Laura Richardson of California, Tim Walz of Minnesota, Pete Stark of California and John Yarmuth of Kentucky and Republicans Jim Renacci of Ohio, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Dan Burton of Indiana and Bill Huizenga of Michigan.