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Hatch aide to head 'supercommittee' staff

  |   Aug. 30, 2011 at 1:51 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A U.S. Senate tax lawyer will head the staff of the congressional "supercommittee" tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in budget cuts, leaders said Tuesday.

The appointment of Senate Finance Committee tax lawyer Mark Prater was announced jointly by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who are co-leaders of the bipartisan, bicameral panel, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the finance panel, called Prater "an honest broker who has garnered the respect and admiration from both sides of the aisle," the newspaper said.

"Mark's encyclopedic knowledge, intellect and leadership make him a natural fit for this position," Hatch said.

Hatch, who is up for re-election next year and is not on the 12-member supercommittee, said Prater will return to his staff when the panel winds up its work.

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