Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that oversees the Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs, is one of three senators appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to serve on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Baucus one of three Senators to join deficit reduction committee
The Joint Select Committee, or JSC, was established in the recently signed Budget Control Act of 2011 to craft a long-term approach for reducing the nation's soaring deficit and may turn to Medicare to cut spending.
Reid named Senate Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to serve as the committee's co-chair, and chose Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as the third appointee. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will appoint the committee's other co-chair.
“We are grateful and humbled that Leader Reid asked us to join this committee to help tackle this critical issue for the American people,” Murray, Baucus and Kerry said in a joint statement. “While some will argue there is peril in serving on this committee, we believe there is far greater peril in leaving these issues unaddressed.”
Composed of 12 members, the congressional committee will include six members from each chamber who will be responsible for developing legislation to achieve $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by Thanksgiving. Boehner will also choose three members, while the remaining six will be appointed by Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“I have great faith in Sen. Murray as the co-chair of the committee,” Reid said in a news release. “Her years of experience on the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees have given her a depth of knowledge on budget issues, and demonstrated her ability to work across party lines.”
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