House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just announced her three picks for the “super-committee” mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 to prescribe how Congress should cut $2.1 trillion in federal spending. Here are her choices:
Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. He is a top Pelosi ally, and can be counted on to keep watch over Democrats’ electoral advantages in the committee negotiations. He voted for the debt deal that passed the House.
Jim Clyburn of South Carolina has served in Congress since 1993. A staunch liberal, he is the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, behind Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. Clyburn was not happy with the debt deal that finally passed Congress last week, but said it could have been worse. He is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, whose chairman, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, famously called the debt deal a “Satan sandwich.”
Xavier Becerra of California is something of a wild-card pick for the Democrats. Elected in 2003, Becerra has long sought to enter the House leadership, and finally succeeded in January when we won election as the Democratic caucus’ vice-chairman. Becerra was a member of the Simpson-Bowles commission, though he voted against its final report. Becerra also voted against the debt deal that finally passed the House on August 1st, calling it “not balanced.”