UPDATE: Since this article was first published on Monday morning, the office of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus announced late Monday morning that the Finance Committee hearing on the deficit scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, was postponed-Ed.
The political theater in the ongoing debt-ceiling drama now playing in Washington will surely shift scenes, but the main act could as likely occur in Iowa or New Hampshire as the Senate Finance Committee or Vice President Joseph Biden’s office.
The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, led by chairman Max Baucus (left) with a focus on revenues; witnesses for the hearing have not yet been released, though both Senators Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) are slated to deliver statements. (This hearing has been postponed.-Ed.)
Meanwhile, the Gang of Six, a bipartisan coalition of top Democrat and Republican Senators seeking a solution to the debt-ceiling limit through deficit-reduction measures and led by Vice President Biden, has reportedly agreed on $20 billion a year in farm subsidy reductions. A congressional staffer close to the talks told the Fiscal Times the cuts were “an early area of agreement for this group trying to establish common ground.”
Competition among Republican contenders in the race for president may be exerting influence on what is politically possible. Two weeks ago, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) hit the Iowa campaign trail with a call for an end to ethanol subsidies, an attention-getting move in a politically vital state where voters historically have sought support for the corn-based fuel. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the current Republican frontrunner, backs continuation of the subsidies.