Bringing the number to 12, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (left) announced Thursday her picks for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. They include Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn, D-S.C.; Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.; and Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.
Pelosi urged the committee to conduct its proceedings “in the open,” saying that its deliberations must be transparent.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was the first to announce his appointees on Tuesday, while Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., followed with their picks on Wednesday.
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which was part of the debt ceiling deal reached by President Barack Obama and Republican leaders, is charged with developing legislation that provides $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by Thanksgiving. The bipartisan, bicameral committee is now comprised of 12 members—six from each Chamber and equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.
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.”