Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Tuesday night was the first out of the gate with his selections of three Democratic senators to sit on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which was part of the debt ceiling deal reached by President Barack Obama and Republican leaders.
Reid named to the committee Senate Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.; and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced early on Wednesday his GOP picks for the committee, which are Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas; and Reps. Dave Camp and Fred Upton, both of Michigan. Hensarling will co-chair the committee along with Murray.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also named on Wednesday his picks, which are Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.; Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has until Tuesday, Aug. 16, to name three members to the panel. The bipartisan, bicameral committee will be comprised of 12 members—six from each Chamber and equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.
The committee is charged with developing legislation that provides $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by Thanksgiving. Reid said in a statement announcing his nominations that the committee has been given “broad leeway” to examine all areas for deficit reduction, and that the committee’s legislation will be given “expedited consideration, with a guaranteed up-or-down vote in the Senate before Christmas.”