Meet the new Super Congress
Most of the names of the panel who will sit on the super committee charged with trimming $1.5 trillion from the budget deficit have been released by congressional leaders. The committee is the brainchild of lawmakers who cranked out the final debt ceiling agreement just hours before the Aug. 2 deadline for reaching a deal to stave off potential default by the United States. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) selected Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee; to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) named Sens. Jon Kyle (R-Ariz.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to the committee. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) picked Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) named the following: Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). If the committee is not able to agree on $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, the cuts will kick in automatically. If they do reach a deal, the president will have the authority to raise the debt ceiling another $1.5 trillion. Without a deal, $1.2 trillion is the max for raising the ceiling. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.