The catfood commission (aka Obama’s deficit commission) is dead.
Well, it must be, right?
After all, that great figure of Beltway-corporatism-posing-as-moderation, Bob Corker, has decreed that we shall pass no legislation during a post election lame duck session.
Corker called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), the Democratic leaders in their respective chambers, to make a similar pledge.
“I think for Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to say the same thing — that they’re not going to try to use the lame-duck session as a place to do things that otherwise would not pass,” he said. “That type of thinking, that concern about … cap-and-trade and other types of policies just feeds into this whole unpredictability issue, the issue of what’s going to happen in Washington. We need to move away from that uncertainty.”
And that’s precisely when the Obama Administration plans to implement the catfood commission’s cuts on social security.
White House officials are working closely with the president’s new fiscal commission in the hope that the bipartisan commissions final report will provide Republican cover for the deal. The commission, due to report by December 1, needs fourteen out of its eighteen members to make an official recommendation. One hope of the deficit hawks is that a super-majority report could steamroll a lame duck session of Congress to act quickly, pending a more Republican Congress in January.
If someone like Corker won’t play along with the plan to cut social security, then it’s unlikely to get the mix of Republicans and deficit hawk Democrats they’ll need to pass the Commission recommendations.
So long as Corker keeps his word, then, about opposition to moving big legislation during the lame duck session, then social security should be safe.