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Does the Super Committee Stand a Chance? 

WHO:   Jordan Tama is an assistant professor in American University’s School of International Service and a research fellow in American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. Jordan Tama specializes in presidential-congressional relations and blue-ribbon commissions. Tama is the author of Terrorism and National Security Reform: How Commissions Can Drive Change During Crises (Cambridge University Press, 2011). He served as a speechwriter for former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton.

WHAT:  Available for television, print, and radio interviews

WHEN:  September 28 – ongoing

WHERE:  In-studio, via telephone, or at American University.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 28, 2011)  Professor Jordan Tama, an expert on how congressional and independent commissions function based on his extensive study of 30 years of data, recently discussed the potential pitfalls faced by the Congressional deficit-reduction committee in an op-ed entitled, Super Committees to the Rescue that appeared in the August 5 edition of Newsday.  

With the Super Committee set to hold its first private meetings on Thursday, partisanship at an all time high at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the deadline for the House-Senate deficit committee to present its recommendations for an up or down vote just eight weeks away, Jordan Tama’s admonitions are becoming more relevant by the day.

Among the issues Jordan Tama can address are:

•    Whether the committee’s very structure favors a deadlock or compromise and why;
•    If private meetings can facilitate negotiations and prevent public posturing/spoilers from wrecking;
•    If Democrats achieved an advantage over Republicans since the threats of irreparable economic harm have been delayed until after the 2012 election when Bush tax cuts are set to expire, automatic military cuts under the trigger would take effect, and the debt ceiling would have to be addressed;
•    If hyper-partisanship trumps finding a way out of the deficit crisis through compromise;
•    Why historically independent commissions have a better chance of reaching consensus;
•    If the super committee’s recommendations will be seen as legitimate by Republicans and Democrats;
•    If the trigger cutting $600 million from security spending incentivizes Republican compromise; and,
•    If achieving a mere majority of the super committee (7 of 12) will result in a grand bargain.

Tama has appeared on NBC in Washington, DC; RT America, and in USA Today, Newsday, FoxNews.com, and Politico.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

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