Warner wants to be on debt deal’s bicameral ‘super committee’

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) would “love” to serve on the new, bicameral committee established by the debt-limit deal passed Tuesday by the Senate.

“My fear is that this could be made of a group that could be the more ideologically rigid in both parties, and I’m not sure that gets us to where we need to be,” Warner said in a conference call Monday, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

{mosads}”The deal that we’re presented with isn’t comprehensive, it’s not bipartisan in the sense that it takes on both parties’ sacred cows,” he said.

The debt-limit agreement, now passed by both the House and Senate, establishes a bicameral committee of 12 legislators charged with putting together an additional $1.5 trillion deficit-reduction package.

Warner said Tuesday on Fox News Channel that the new committee needs to address the two major components missing from the debt-limit deal: entitlements and tax reforms.

“The fact that I’m willing to do that probably means that I’m not actually going to get on the committee,” he said. “Chances are that there will be enormous pressure on leadership in both parties to put members that might not be willing to be as bold.”

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However, Warner said, he wants to be on the committee because he has been “working on this issue for the last year” as a member of the so-called Gang of Six group of bipartisan senators who proposed a deficit-reduction plan last month.

Warner said on Fox that the chances of committee gridlock were pretty high, due to the planned split between six Democrats and six Republicans.

“We need folks that can actually check their Democrat and Republican hats for a little while,” he said. “Whoever is on this committee needs to make sure that they hear from voices that say we need to be really serious.”

The committee’s deficit-reduction package will accompany the deal’s nearly $1 trillion in deficit cuts over 10 years and a $2.1 trillion raise in the debt limit that should last through 2012.

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