Baucus, Kerry, Murray on 'supercommittee'

Aug. 9, 2011 at 8:44 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Majority Leader Harry Reid Tuesday named three U.S. Senate colleagues to serve on a so-called supercommittee to come up with further debt reduction this year.

The Nevada Democrat chose Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., along with Democrats John Kerry of Massachusetts and Patty Murray of Washington, to serve on the committee, which must come up with $1.5 trillion in deficit-reduction by Thanksgiving.

The supercommittee -- established in deficit reduction legislation enacted last week -- is to consist of 12 members, six from the Senate and six from the House, with six members coming from each of the two major political parties.

In announcing the appointment of Baucus, Kerry and Murray, Reid characterized all three as bipartisan, The Hill reported.

"I have great faith in Senator Murray as the co-chair of the committee," Reid said. "Her years of experience on the Senate Budget and Appropriations committees have given her a depth of knowledge on budget issues, and demonstrated her ability to work across party lines."

Reid called Baucus and Kerry "two of the Senate's most respected and experienced legislators. Their legislative accomplishments are matched only by their records of forging strong bonds with their Republican colleagues."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is to name three members. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will appoint three House members each to the committee.

None of the three appointed by Reid are members of the so-called Gang of Six, which last month proposed including Medicare and Social Security cuts in a deficit reduction package.

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