Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have named their picks for the Super Committee.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid named his selections yesterday, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has until Tuesday to name her designees.
The “Super Committee” is tasked with making at least $1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal deficit by Thanksgiving.
- House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) Will Co-Chair the Committee with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
- House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI)
- House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI)
- Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
- Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), former president of The Club for Growth
- Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush
“Our debt and deficits are a threat to our economy, and America cannot achieve long-term job growth until we take action to address this crisis. In the weeks ahead, a serious, bipartisan committee of lawmakers will begin the hard but necessary work of making the tough choices needed to rein in mandatory and entitlement spending, which are the drivers of our debt. The lawmakers I have appointed to serve on this joint committee are proven leaders who have earned the trust and confidence of their colleagues and constituents. They understand the gravity of our debt crisis and I appreciate their willingness to serve on this panel.
“The two parties have fundamental differences about government and its proper role in our society. Where we’ve been able to agree, we have acted, and in a way consistent with the American people’s desire for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government. Still, the differences remain, and so does the urgent work of returning our economy to creating jobs and lifting the crushing burden of debt that threatens our children’s future. This joint committee presents an opportunity for both parties to bring to the table their best ideas, debate them on the merits, and ultimately come together to do what’s best for our country. With all that’s at stake, I expect that the joint select committee will conduct its work in the open and transparent manner the American people deserve.”
“Chronic joblessness, out-of-control deficits and debt, and an unprecedented credit downgrade represent an historic challenge but also an historic opportunity for lawmakers in Washington to show they can work together on a plan that puts America back on the path to prosperity. All three of these nominees understand the gravity of our situation and all three will bring the kind of responsibility, creativity, and thoughtfulness that the moment requires. The American people know that we cannot dig ourselves out of this situation by nibbling around the edges, and I am confident that each of these nominees can be counted on to propose solutions that put the interests of all Americans ahead of any one political party.
“The bipartisan, bicameral select committee is a central part of the new Budget Control Act and is tasked with reducing the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. The 12-member committee is equally divided among Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, House Republicans and House Democrats. The panel must vote on legislation by November 23. Legislation reported from the committee will receive expedited consideration in both chambers and be voted on by December 23.
If the committee produces legislation that achieves $1.2 trillion or greater in savings and that legislation is enacted into law, the President would then have the authority to request a debt limit increase of an equal amount (subject to disapproval & veto), capped at $1.5 trillion. Should the committee fail to agree on legislation, or if that legislation is not passed and signed into law by the President, a sequester mechanism would trigger automatic cuts. However, the sequester was designed by both parties to create a strong incentive for the committee to succeed. Depending on the deficit reduction enacted by the Joint Committee, the total debt limit increase could be at least $2.1 trillion but not more than $2.4 trillion.
“My main criteria for selecting members was to identify serious, constructive senators who are interested in achieving a result that helps to get our nation’s fiscal house in order,” McConnell said. “That means reforming entitlement programs that are the biggest drivers of our debt, and reforming the tax code in a way that makes us more competitive and leads to more American jobs. The goal is to achieve a result that convinces Americans and the world that we’re committed as a nation to prosperity for all our citizens.”