House Republicans’ panel picks might prove the most important. Several attempts at reaching a “grand bargain” on the deficit have blown up over the House GOP’s consistent opposition to tax increases. Reid last week warned that the committee would not produce a bill unless Republicans agreed to increase revenue.
Failing to reach a deal would trigger an automatic $1.2 trillion cut in defense, Medicare and other programs starting Jan. 1, 2013.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.