In naming Senators Kyl, Toomey, and Portman to the deficit reduction supercommittee, minority leader Mitch McConnell has avoided placing gang-of-sixers in this position of power. (Reid’s choices of Murray, Kerry, and Baucus similarly avoid the Gang of Six.) Interesting.
If there’s going to be a reasonable deal struck in this panel, it will probably include most or all of the Democrats, plus Portman and perhaps no other Republicans. Portman is no liberal, but he understands budgeting (having served as OMB director), won his seat in 2010 with a resounding 20%-plus margin of victory, and was to the left of the median Republican when he was in the House of Representatives (see the ranking at Keith Poole’s VoteView.com). He’s also interested in tax reform, an issue that Democrats have done their best to link to matters like revenue-enhancing loophole closures.