Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Supercommittee" Named by Congressional Leaders

Congressional leaders have announced their appointments for the deficit-reduction "supercommittee," the group charged with the task of mapping out a long-term debt-reduction deal. House Speaker John Boehner has appointed three Republican members: Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, both of Michigan, and Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas as the House GOP members. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also announced Wednesday three Senate Republican members: Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Rob Portman of Ohio. Earlier on Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced three Senate Democratic members of the committee: Patty Murray of Washington, John Kerry of Massachusetts, and Max Baucus of Montana.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, will co-chair the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. The bipartisan panel is supposed to recommend steps to reduce federal budget deficits by at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years by Nov. 23. If the committee fails to issue a recommendation, a series of painful spending cuts will automatically occur, split evenly between defense and domestic programs dear to Republicans and Democrats, respectively. Those automatic cuts are described as an enforcement mechanism to encourage bipartisan cooperation.

Polling has indicated most Americans see a mix of tax increases on the wealthy accompanied by some spending cuts as the best way to trim the US budget deficit.

Still outstanding are three selections from Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
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