New appointments add welcome diversity to “Super Committee”

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  • Dale Eisman

Members should meet openly and disclose campaign contributions

Statement by Common Cause President Bob Edgar

The “Super Committee” appointments announced today by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi make this important body more reflective of our country’s diverse population, a change that should aid the committee’s search for a balanced solution to our long-term financial challenges.

The strong partisanship of several committee members remains a major concern for Common Cause however. We urge all 12 appointees to give up their party leadership and fundraising posts during their super committee service; it’s important that members make clear at the outset that they’re unconstrained by the wishes of their political donors and party leaders and open to solutions that combine spending cuts and new revenues. The committee is doomed to failure if members try to use their service to raise money or score partisan debating points.

One additional step to check partisan and special interest influence would be quick action in both houses of Congress to pass Louisiana Sen. David Vitter’s legislation to require that Super Committee members disclose within 48 hours any contributions they receive in excess of $1,000. House and Senate bills opening all Super Committee meetings and deliberations to the public and press also should be brought to the floor and passed quickly.

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