Nelson criticizes debt deal’s ‘supercommittee’

The debt-ceiling deal signed into law Tuesday establishes a bipartisan, bicameral committee of 12 legislators charged with putting together a $1.5 trillion deficit-reduction package. That committee is authorized to consider cuts in every part of the federal government including Medicare, which is one area Nelson says should be left alone.

I do not support this debt plan because it will cut Medicare, a promise we’ve made to Nebraska seniors that I intend to keep, Nelson said prior to Tuesday’s vote.

Nelson is not the first lawmaker to criticize the panel. On Tuesday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) called it anti-democratic. Supporters, however, argue that Congress would still get to vote on whatever the committee recommends.

Each party’s leaders will choose six members for the committee — three from each house of Congress.

The debt-limit agreement cuts federal deficits by nearly $1 trillion over 10 years while raising the debt ceiling by at least $2.1 trillion through 2012.