One Nation Under Debt

Published — August 10, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Kyl will oppose “job-killing” tax hikes in Super Congress talks

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell picked Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., for the bipartisan debt "super committee." Matt York/AP


Republican Jon Kyl, second-in-command in the Senate minority, is not running for re-election and so has the freedom to stand on principle without angering Arizona voters in the Super Congress debate.

Kyl was involved in the summer bipartisan debt talks led by Vice President Joseph Biden until he pulled out in late June. Kyl and his Republican colleagues were seeking $2.5 trillion in budget cuts. The debt ceiling legislation that ultimately passed includes $1 trillion in cuts and leaves the Super Congress to identify $1.5 trillion more.

On the question of whether the committee will look to tax revenue as part of its work, Kyl is likely to be opposed.“Job-killing tax increases are the wrong medicine for our struggling economy,” he has said.

Kyl, 69, is in his third term in the Senate and serves on the Judicial and Finance committees. Before coming to the Senate, he served four terms in the House of Representatives.

The National Journal declared him to be the most conservative Senator in 2008. He has taken a hard line on taxes, abortion, and immigration, once supporting a measure that would deny citizenship to the children born in this country to parents who were undocumented immigrants. In April, he caused a media storm when he said on the Senate floor that abortions represent “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” When the figure was revealed as inaccurate, his office’s response that the senator’s comment “was not intended to be a factual statement” only fed the media blitz.

In November 2010, he announced that he would oppose ratification of the New START arms control treaty with Russia.

Top Political Contributions

  • Amgen Inc, a pharmaceutical company — at least $20,500
  • AT&T, the telecommunications giants — at least $20,000
  • Physician Hospitals of America, the trade organization for the physician owned hospitals industry — at least $19,500
  • Citigroup, the financial giant — at least $17,500
  • American Bankers Association, the trade group for members of the financial industry — at least $17,500
  • California Dairies Inc., one of the nation’s largest suppliers of milk based products — at least $17,500
  • PACs have donated almost $1.4 million to Jon Kyl’s campaign committee and his Senate Majority PAC since the start of 2009

Revolving Door

  • Manny Rossman served as Kyl’s chief of staff. Soon after, he joined the lobbying house Breaux Lott Leadership group, a subsidiary of the large K Street lobbyist Patton Boggs, where he works for clients such as Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, General Electric and Delta Airlines
  • Steven Duffield served as policy director and chief counsel to Kyl before founding Endgame Strategies, where he lobbies on behalf of law firms Cozen O’Connor and McGovern & Associates
  • Christine “Christy” Clark, a former policy and defense advisor to Kyl, now works for Podesta Group, lobbying on behalf of clients including electronics maker TE Connectivity and MarketAxess, a company that provides a stock trading platform and services

Statements on Super Congress

  • [Senator Kyl has not yet released a statement]

Read more in Money and Democracy

Share this article

Join the conversation

Show Comments

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments