A congressional supercommittee -- six Democrats, six Republicans -- is charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in federal budget cuts over the next decade. If the lawmakers fail to make their Nov. 23 deadline, $1.5 trillion in across-the-board cuts are supposed to go into effect automatically.
Clearly a lot of people and programs will be affected by these cuts, which is perhaps why the supercomittee is deliberating in deepest secrecy behind closed doors. Well, secret from you and us in the press.
There's no telling how dangerous it would be if this information -- what gets cut and how much -- fell into the hands of the general public. Presumably, we can't handle the truth, at least not until the politicians have had a chance to slap some lipstick on it and claim it's job-creating.
But the supercommittee's deliberations are not secret from K Street, Washington shorthand for high-powered, deep-pocketed lobbyists with connections. That's definitely not us and very likely not you, either.
But, reports Politico, "K-Streeters with deep ties to supercommittee members and congressional leadership say senior staffers have given them readouts from closed-door committee meetings."
Politico reports that top aides to GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., met last week with Republican lobbyists to brief them on a number of topics, including "the prospect for a grand deal." Surely that's information you'd like to have -- but you're not going to get it, not for free, at any rate.
Kyl and other committee members brushed hurriedly past the reporters who had been waiting outside a closed-door meeting for six hours in hopes of getting a question or two in.
These are your elected representatives and they are supposed to report to you, at least that's what your eighth-grade civics textbook said. Well, forget all that.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Details are very sketchy tonight, but Tampa Police homicide detectives are on scene of what appears to be the shooting death a person found in a Yellow Cab.