Pelosi fills out final members of Deficit Committee

By Sara Wyant

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi picked Democrats Chris Van Hollen (MD), Jim Clyburn (SC), and Xavier Becerra (CA) to serve on the Joint Select Deficit Committee, filling out the final slots for the twelve member bipartisan group charged with finding at least $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction cuts by Nov. 23. The decision was due Aug. 16.

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Other members appointed to the committee by House and Senate leaders earlier this week include: Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Reps. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas.)


All three of Pelosi's picks are members of her leadership team, with Rep. Clyburn serving as the No. 3 Democratic leader and Becerra as the No. 5 member. Van Hollen is the top member of the House Budget Committee and previously spent four years as the party's campaign strategist.


Becerra is the top Democrat on the Social Security panel of the Ways and Means Committee.

He was a member of the president's U.S. deficit commission which developed a bipartisan plan to reduce federal spending and raise revenues, but voted against the report last December.


“We must achieve a ‘grand bargain' that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  Our entire Caucus will work closely with these three appointees toward this goal, which is the goal of the American people,” Pelosi said in announcing her selections. “Because the work of this committee will affect all Americans, I called last week for its deliberations to be transparent; the committee should conduct its proceedings in the open.”


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