Congressional Leadership Appoint Members of the Super Committee

All congressional leaders empowered by the recently enacted Budget Control Act[1] have now made their appointments to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “Super Committee”) as follows—

  • By Senate Majority Leader Reid: Sens. Murray (D-WA), Baucus (D-MT) and Kerry (D-MA)
  • By Senate Republican Leader McConnell: Sens. Kyl (R-AZ), Toomey (R-PA) and Portman (R-OH)
  • By House Speaker Boehner: Reps. Hensarling (R-TX), Camp (R-MI) and Upton (R-MI)
  • By House Democratic Leader Pelosi: Reps. Clyburn (D-SC), Van Hollen (D-MD) and Becerra (D-CA).

In addition, Rep. Hensarling and Sen. Murray have been designated as co-chairs of the Super Committee.  The following is a brief analysis of the appointments.

  • Four appointees (Hensarling, Becerra, Camp and Baucus) were members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (“Bowles-Simpson”) and did not support the final package.
  • No current member of Congress who was a member of Bowles-Simpson and who supported the final package was appointed to the Super Committee (Durbin, Conrad, Coburn and Crapo).
  • No member of the Gang of Six was appointed (Warner, Durbin, Conrad, Chambliss, Crapo and Coburn).
  • Two (Toomey and Becerra) voted against the recently-enacted Budget Control Act that created the Super Committee.
  • Four (Kyl, Baucus, Clyburn and Van Hollen) participated in Biden Group negotiations.
  • Appointments of members of the major committees of jurisdiction are—
    • Appropriations (1): Murray
    • Budget (4): Portman, Toomey, Murray and Van Hollen
    • Ways and Means/Finance (5): Camp, Becerra, Baucus, Kerry and Kyl
    • Energy & Commerce (1): Upton.
  • Five members currently serve in House or Senate leadership positions—
    • Hensarling (House Republican Conference chair)
    • Clyburn (Assistant Democratic Leader)
    • Becerra (House Democratic Caucus vice-chair)
    • Kyl (Senate Republican Whip)
    • Murray (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chair and Senate Majority Conference secretary).
  • Five members serve as full committee chairs—
    • Baucus (Senate Finance)
    • Kerry (Senate Foreign Relations)
    • Murray (Senate Veterans)
    • Camp (House Ways & Means)
    • Upton (House Energy & Commerce).
  • Two (tax-writing committee chairmen Baucus and Camp) recently struck a bipartisan deal on the Trade Adjustment Assistance program and three pending free trade agreements (South Korea, Colombia and Panama).
  • Two (Baucus and Camp) have said that they prefer to keep tax reform on a separate legislative track.

The next steps in the Super Committee process are (i) the joint appointment of a staff director by the two co-chairs (Murray and Hensarling) and (ii) the first organizational meeting of the Super Committee, to take place on September 16.

[1] Please see the Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP client alert “An Overview and Analysis of the Budget Control Act of 2011” (August 8, 2011). 

Contact Information 

If you have any questions concerning this alert, please contact— 

Robert J. Leonard
Washington, D.C.