Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the first congressional leader to pick his three members for Catfood Commission II. From Politico:
In the first of what will be a closely watched selection process for a powerful new deficit panel, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he will appoint Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Max Baucus (Mont.) and John Kerry (Mass.) as his three choices for a super committee charged with finding more than $1 trillion in spending cuts by the end of this year.
Murray will serve as co-chair of the 12-member panel.
It should be noted that none of these three members will be facing the voters for a long time. Both Sen. Baucus and Sen. Kerry are not up for re-election until 2014, and Sen. Murray is not up for re-election until 2016.
Sen. Reid has selected individuals in the position of being-unaccountable-to-voters-but-still-loyal-to-the-party-apparatus sweet spot. None of them are planning to retire at the end of their terms, so it is less likely Sen. Reid will need to worry about them going rogue in the negotiations. Furthermore, since they won’t be going before the voters for several years they will probably be more willing to directly defy the will of the electorate in regards to the very popular social safety net programs, like Medicare and Social Security.