Pelosi announces 'supercommittee' picks

Aug. 11, 2011 at 2:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday tapped three former members of her Democratic leadership team for the U.S. debt "supercommittee."

Pelosi's picks are Reps. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.

All three are seen as close to the former Democratic speaker of the House, while Van Hollen is the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, The Hill reported.

The "supercommittee" by law is charged with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts by Nov. 23. If it fails, or if Congress rejects its recommendations, broad cuts to domestic and defense spending would be triggered.

"We must achieve a 'grand bargain' that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security," Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. "Our entire caucus will work closely with these three appointees toward this goal, which is the goal of the American people."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have already made their picks for the committee.

Reid chose Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the chairwoman of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee.

Murray is the only woman among the 12 panelists.

McConnell chose Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona, and Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

Boehner picked Reps. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Dave Camp, R-Mich.

The Hill said the picks include four lawmakers who voted against the recommendations of President Barack Obama's debt commission, as well as four involved in debt talks led by Vice President Biden that eventually broke down.

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