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Michigan Ties May Play Role on Super Committee

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
From left: Rep. Dave Camp, Sen. Pat Toomey, Rep. James Clyburn and Rep. Fred Upton arrive for the first meeting of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction last week.

Ballenger noted both men got positive press for being named to the panel when the announcements were made last month. And other political observers suggest that by serving on the panel, the two could become important 2012 election surrogates for the party on economic messages in a bellwether state that votes more by its pocketbook than by its ideology.

These same sources noted that Democrats would be smart to try to find specific jobs provisions that could present stark choices for super committee Republicans, such as drawing lines specifically between jobs and the auto industry.

When asked about Obama’s call for the panel to find offsets for his jobs program, Camp was careful not to dismiss the prospects out of hand while also emphasizing that the alternative — the failure of the group — would be worse for everyone.

“I think we need to look at what the Budget Control Act gave us as a responsibility, which was $1.5 trillion. If we don’t, there’s sequestration that would occur, and I think we need to look very hard at how we get to that $1.5 trillion,” Camp told reporters last week in the Speaker’s Lobby.

“If in fact we get there, then I think you can maybe look and see what, above and beyond that, you can do,” he added. “But at this point, I don’t see us surpassing that requirement yet.”

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