US Lawmakers Announce Budget Committee Choices

Posted August 10th, 2011 at 3:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have named nine of the 12 members of a committee that will be expected to find up to $1.5 trillion in savings to further reduce the nation’s deficit.

White House spokesman Jay Carney Wednesday said President Barack Obama expects the members to take their work seriously. He says they need to agree on proposals that can get bipartisan support and pass quickly in Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid selected fellow Democratic Senators Patty Murray, Max Baucus and John Kerry for the committee. Murray’s selection has drawn criticism, as she also chairs the committee on Democratic senators’ re-election campaigns.

For the Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell named Republican Senators Jon Kyl, Rob Portman and Pat Toomey.

In the House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner picked Republican Congressmen Jeb Hensarling, Dave Camp and Fred Upton. For the Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has yet to announce her picks, which will be the final three members of the committee.

The group is the result of a hard-won deal, passed last week, to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. The committee has until November 23 to negotiate a set of recommendations to reduce the deficit. If those efforts fail, a wide swath of budget cuts will automatically go into effect across many government agencies.