McConnell names Kyl, Crapo, Barrasso to payroll tax conference committee

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has tapped three Senate Republicans to serve on the bipartisan, bicameral committee charged with working out a deal on a year-long payroll tax holiday extension and other provisions by the end of February.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, accompanied by Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Ariz. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, previously served on the debt “supercommittee” and was chosen by McConnell to represent Senate GOPers in the debt talks led by Vice President Biden during the spring. Crapo is a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Six” and also serves on the Senate Finance Committee. And Barrasso is the chairman-elect of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-ranking spot in Senate GOP leadership.

“These three Senators will help lead our efforts to focus on the areas of agreement between the House and Senate approaches to these expiring provisions,” McConnell said in a statement. “Both the Senate and House produced bills that require the President to quickly make a decision on whether to support thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs through the Keystone XL pipeline, and were fully paid for without raising taxes on job creators. Both extended current law on additional unemployment insurance payments, the temporary payroll tax holiday, seniors’ access to medical care and TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families]. And both were passed with bipartisan support.”

He added that heading into the new year, “it’s crucial for everyone to realize that, once this temporary extension is behind us, the larger goal is to move beyond a discussion of temporary assistance, and toward a bipartisan plan to get our economy moving again, reform the tax code, and preserve and protect entitlement programs for future generations.”

McConnell’s announcement of his picks comes a full week after other congressional leaders named their delegates to the bipartisan panel.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) chose four members: Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Ben Cardin (Md.) and Bob Casey (Pa.).

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has appointed eight House Republicans: Reps. Kevin Brady (Texas), Nan Hayworth (N.Y.), Tom Reed (N.Y.), Dave Camp (Mich.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), Tom Price (Ga.), Fred Upton (Mich.) and Greg Walden (Ore.).

And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has named five conferees: Reps. Allyson Schwartz (Pa.), Sandy Levin (Mich.), Xavier Becerra (Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Henry Waxman (Calif.).

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