Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction Named

Posted on: August 15th, 2011 by Deborah Cox

Created as part of the debt ceiling law (PL 112-25), the 12-member, bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also called the “Super Committee,” has broad authority to find as much as $1.5 billion in savings by Nov. 23 that Congress must consider in an up-or-down vote by Dec. 23.  If no cuts are approved by Congress at that time, the deal would trigger across-the-board cuts in discretionary spending over 10 years, with the first automatic cuts taking effect Jan. 2013.  So far, there are more questions than answers about the trade-offs and shifts in spending, entitlements and taxes that the committee must address.  House and Senate leaders have now named the committee members.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) named:

  • Patty Murray (D-WA):  Chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; will serve as co-chairman of the debt committee
  • Max Baucus (D-MT): Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
  • John Kerry (D-MA):  Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) named:

  • Jon Kyl (R-AZ): Senate Minority Whip
  • Rob Portman (R-OH)
  • Patrick Toomey (R-PA)

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) named:

  • Jeb Hensarling (R-TX): Vice Chair of the House Financial Services Committee; will serve as co-chairman of the debt committee
  • Dave Camp (R-MI): Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee
  • Fred Upton (R-MI):  Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) named:

  • James E. Clyburn (D-SC): Assistant Democratic Leader
  • Xavier Becerra (D-CA): Democratic Caucus Vice Chair
  • Chris Van Hollen (D-MD): Budget Committee Ranking Member
Key Dates for the Joint Committee
September 16, 2011 First meeting of the Joint Committee
Between October 1 and December 31, 2011 Both houses of Congress must vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment
October 14, 2011 Deadline for House and Senate committees to submit recommendations for mandatory program/ revenue changes to the Jt. Committee
November 23, 2011 Deadline for the Jt. Committee to vote on a plan to achieve $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction from 2012 through 2021.  If they reach agreement with at least seven votes they must make recommendations to Congress and the President by Dec. 2
December 23, 2011 Deadline for final action on Jt. Committee bill by House and Senate
January 15, 2012 Date that the “trigger” leading to $1.2 trillion of future spending cuts goes into effect if the Jt. Committee’s legislation has not been enacted;  automatic spending cuts to both defense and non-exempt domestic programs would occur
February 2012 The first $900 billion of debt ceiling increase runs out
No later than January 2 of each year, 2013 through 2021 Discretionary sequestration (automatic spending cuts) imposed if discretionary caps breached


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