The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is a joint select committee of the United States Congress, created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011. The act was intended to prevent the rapid process of sovereign default that would have resulted from the 2011 U.S. Debt Ceiling Crisis, and has been interpreted as a reaction to frustration over prolonged partisan political disputes during an uncertain economic struggling to recover from the late-2000s recession.
The committee will consist of twelve members of Congress, six from the United States House of Representatives and six from the United States Senate, with each delegation to be expected to be evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R, TX): Committee on Financial Services
Rep. Dave Camp (R, MI): Committee on Ways and Means
Rep. Fred Upton (R, MI): Committee on Energy and Commerce
Sen. Patty Murray (D, WA): Committees on Appropriations; Veterans’ Affairs; Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; the Budget; Rules and Administration
Sen. Max Baucus (D, MT): Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Finance; Environment and Public Works; Taxation
Sen. John Kerry (D, MA): Committees on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Finance; Foreign Relations; Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Sen. Jon Kyl (R, AZ): Committees on the Judiciary; Finance
Sen. Pat Toomey (R, PA): Committees on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Budget; Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Sen. Rob Portman (R, OH)
A few observations I have: with eight out of nine candidates chosen, only one is a woman. Most are Caucasian.
I for one believe that having a simple majority recommendation requirement was a poor decision, because it may very well enable either party to target any lone moderate and bypass approval from the rest of the committee. Also, just because both houses of Congress may eventually pass the recommendations does not mean that they will do so willingly; having a supermajority recommendation would lend itself credibility and leverage pressure against both houses to act responsibly.