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Congress: Fights over revenue and the Gang of 12

“The Senate approved a sweeping package yesterday that allowed the United States to begin borrowing more money, and President Obama signed the legislation just hours before the country would have faced default on its obligations,” the Boston Globe writes before previewing the fight over revenue and the required 12-member committee: “A 12-member joint congressional committee will be formed over the next two weeks to find up to another $1.5 trillion in savings. A key question is whether the committee, which must make its recommendations by Thanksgiving, will address increased tax revenue - something Democrats say is imperative but Republicans have opposed.”

The Washington Post adds, “The bipartisan panel, to be named this month, is likely to confront the same ideological divide that caused an almost crippling impasse in the debt-limit debate. Republican leaders are warning that they will not include anyone on the panel who is willing to raise taxes, prompting Democrats to threaten a hard line against cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits.”

“The push to reduce the U.S. debt is shifting to the makeup of the special congressional panel charged with finding further spending cuts and whether its 12 members can consider rewriting the tax code,” Bloomberg writes. “Republican leaders at the Capitol are pledging to appoint members who oppose tax increases. Their Democratic counterparts make clear they will name lawmakers who’ll fight to raise new revenue and protect entitlement benefits Republicans say should be targeted.” But Republicans will not.

Roll Call also notes that the fight already brewing is over the 12-member panel.

More Roll Call: “While Congress wrestled with the debt ceiling, plenty of other issues languished — including energy, education reform, consideration of the war in Libya, trade deals and more — to the chagrin of rank-and-file lawmakers who spent much of the past few months waiting for a handful of leaders to hash out a deal.”