By Mike Lillis - 09/07/11 10:14 PM EDT
Rep. Xavier Becerra on Wednesday became the latest member of the deficit-slashing supercommittee to ask constituents for direct input over the Web.
The California Democrat, who's vice-chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, launched a page on his congressional website with a survey and comments section allowing the public to weigh in directly with their budget ideas.
"After 19 years in Congress I have found that the best ideas for addressing our problems don't come from Washington, they come from the folks back home," his message reads.
"That is why I ask that you take the following survey on your budget priorities and use the comments section below to give me your ideas on ways to reduce the deficit while boosting our economy and creating jobs."
Becerra joins several other members of the panel – including Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) – in providing constituents with a place to log their thoughts as the supercommittee begins its search for at least $1.5 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade.
The practice has been controversial, however, because the websites are largely targeted towards the lawmakers' constituents. Baucus' site, for instance, allows only Montanans to register their comments.
Becerra's site allows anyone to comment, but is designed to attract constituents primarily.
The exclusivity has raised eyebrows from those already critical that the 12-member supercommittee has essentially supplanted Congress in its role as budget manager.
Becerra is advertising the survey and comment forms via Twitter and Facebook.