Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) and Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.), co-chairs of the “supercommittee” on deficit reduction, have selected Mark Prater to serve as the committee’s staff director. Prater is currently the deputy staff director and chief tax counsel for Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, where he has served for more than two decades.
“The know-how and experience Mark brings to this difficult task is exactly what we agreed must be the top priority for the staff serving all the members of this Committee,” the co-chairs said in a joint statement. “Mark has a well-earned reputation for being a workhorse who members of both parties have relied on. We look forward to working with him and are confident that his approach and expertise will be valuable as we weigh the difficult but necessary choices ahead.”
“Mark’s encyclopedic knowledge, intellect and leadership make him a natural fit for this position,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee. “An honest broker who has garnered the respect and admiration from both sides of the aisle, he’ll ably and effectively handle the tremendous work before this deficit reduction committee. I look forward to welcoming him back once his job there is done.”
Talking Points Memo has more:
[Prater] is respected, and considered non-ideological — “If anyone knows how to create a fair, balanced solution that can make everyone a winner in a difficult situation like this, it’s Mark Prater,” said a senior Congressional Democratic aide. But the fact that he’s a Republican will rankle Democrats and liberals who already worry the panel will recommend cuts to entitlement programs with little if any new tax revenue.