Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman named to special debt-reduction committee

Cleveland Plain Dealer - August 10, 2011

Looming just as large as the question of taxes is the matter of entitlements, or formula-driven programs that serve seniors (Social Security and Medicare) and the poor (Medicaid). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who picked Portman, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to be on the committee, specifically mentioned his desire to include entitlement and tax reform in the committee discussions. McConnell called entitlement programs "the biggest drivers of our debt."

Liberal groups and Democrats want entitlements left alone, saying CEOs, Wall Street and oil companies need to share more of the sacrifice.

"That is why Sen. Rob Portman, in his powerful new role as a super committee member, should not even think about taking more money from our grandparents on Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid," said Tom McMahon, executive director of the advocacy group Americans United for Change.

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