Topic: Supercommittee

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The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction,[1] colloquially referred to as the Supercommittee, is a joint select committee of the United States Congress, created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011. The act was intended to prevent the rapid process of sovereign default that would have resulted from the 2011 United States debt-ceiling crisis,[2] and has been interpreted as a reaction to frustration over prolonged partisan political disputes during an uncertain economy struggling to recover from the late-2000s recession.[3] On November 21, the committee concluded its work, issuing a statement that began with the following:[4] After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline. Historical precedents The committee is an unusual construct in the American federal legislative system, created after weeks of difficult negotiations,[5] although it has a partial precedent in the Base Realignment and Closure process.[6][7] Senate historian Donald Ritchie found inexact parallels between the Joint Select Committee and various joint committees, and with the exception of the 1946–1977 Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, he noted that what makes this committee different is its ability to write and report out legislation.[5] [edit]Structure and membership The committee comprises twelve members of Congress, six from the House of Representatives and six from the Senate, with each delegation evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.[8] Three members each were appointed by the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House and the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate.[1][9] Two of the members are designated as co-chairs, one each by the Senate Majority Leader and by the House Speaker.[1] The law does not require that either chair be from a specific house or a specific party. The Los Angeles Times predicted before the committee was constituted that the "most important players" in the process would be the four leaders selecting the twelve committee members.[10] [edit]Members On August 9, Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, announced the Senate's Democratic members of the committee.[11] Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Republican appointments to the committee from both houses on August 10, 2011.[12] House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced her choices the following day.[13]

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