Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

April 7, 2013

George Weeks: Camp, Rogers have major roles

Two veteran Michigan congressmen in the GOP-ruled House have major roles on top front burner financial and security issues currently facing the nation.

Eleven-term Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland, chairman of the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, has conducted more than 20 hearings on tax reform; last week announced a series of hearings in quest of bipartisan efforts to protect and preserve Medicare and Social Security; and set a hearing with Treasury Jacob J. Lew on April 11 — the day after President Barack Obama unveils his fiscal 2014 budget.

Six-term Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, is one of Washington’s most widely-quoted authorities on such issues as North Korea’s escalating saber rattling, the deadly U.S. use of drones, the deaths of American diplomats in Libya, China’s cyber espionage and Syria’s reported use of chemical weapons.

Camp, who represents much of the northern Lower Peninsula, is, according to a statement from his office last week, “gaining momentum” working “on a comprehensive tax reform bill that makes the code simpler and fairer in order to strengthen the economy, create more jobs and better take home pay for American workers.”

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel, noting Camp’s comments on the issue, said “Republicans are not only doing a tax rewrite this year, but making it their signature policy issue.”

The 2012 Almanac of American Politics said of Camp: “His low-key, consensus-building style stands in sharp contrast to that of several recent Ways and Means chairmen, as well as more openly partisan senior Republicans.”

Rogers, a former FBI agent and majority floor leader in the state Senate, has for months been a frequent guest on national TV shows. That’s no surprise. He’s a forceful speaker on breaking news on security issues.

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