Two legislators, U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley (D-5) of Illinois and Jim
Renacci (R) of Ohio, are leading a call for transparency by the super
committee tasked with creating a plan to reduce the nation's deficit by
“This ‘Super Committee’ has been given unprecedented power to make unprecedented decisions, and we must call for unprecedented transparency,” said Rep. Quigley. “With power over the fate of $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, the Committee members will face huge pressure from lobbyists and special interest groups, and the American people deserve to see exactly who is influencing the process.”
Nine of the 12 members of the Super Committee have been named as
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) chose U.S. Sens. Max Baucus
(D-MT), John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Patty Murray (D-WA) for Senate
Democrat representation. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) named U.S.
Reps. Dave Camp (R-MI), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and Fred Upton (R-MI)
for the Super Committee after Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan took a pass on
joining the group. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tapped Sens.
Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Pat Toomey (R-PA). House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi has not named her picks yet.
Quigley and Renacci are circulating a letter with four requested ways in which the Super Committtee should operate in order to ensure transparency, according to a press release:
- all meetings and hearings of the committee be publically noticed, open to the public, broadcast on the Internet, and archived on the committee’s website;
- final legislative language put forward by the committee be posted online for at least 72 hours before the final committee vote;
- campaign contributions to committee members be posted at least once a week;
- 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.
“The committee tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in spending cuts will
perform an extremely difficult and important task – taking serious steps
to put America back on a sustainable fiscal path,” said Rep. Renacci.
“Extraordinary endeavors like this are usually accompanied by incredible
pressure, often from special interest groups. An open and transparent
process will serve to limit outside influence on the committee. The
American people deserve to see that their elected representatives are
acting responsibly and to fully understand where the recommended cuts