The contenders, dark horses and long shots to land on debt ‘supercommittee’

The contenders, dark horses and long shots to land on debt ‘supercommittee’

Speculation about who will be selected to serve on the debt “supercommittee” is rampant on Capitol Hill, K Street and Wall Street.

The four congressional leaders of the House and Senate have until Aug. 16 to make their appointments. While it is unclear which members will be tapped, Capitol Hill leaders are widely expected to pick party loyalists.

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Both the left and right are wary of any possible defectors who would give the opposing party an edge in the talks, which will be aimed at reducing the debt by $1.5 trillion.

Each of the four House and Senate leaders will pick three members to serve on the joint committee. The leaders are allowed to appoint themselves to the supercommittee, though that is unlikely to happen.

The supercommittee’s recommendations must be reported out by Nov. 23 and voted up or down in the House and Senate by Dec. 23.

The following is a rundown of the contenders, dark horses and long shots to be appointed to the panel, categorized alphabetically.


The major contenders to be selected by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidGOP’s midterm strategy takes shape Battle of the billionaires drives Nevada contest Senate Democrats should stop playing politics on Kavanaugh MORE (D-Nev.):

• Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusJudge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester Clients’ Cohen ties become PR liability Green Party puts Dem seat at risk in Montana MORE (D-Mont.) – Finance Committee chairman has jurisdiction over entitlement programs and he served on the Simpson-Bowles commission. The Huffington Post, however, reported on Monday that Baucus is unlikely to be tapped.

• Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems to challenge Kavanaugh for White House records 2020 hopefuls skeptical of criminal justice deal with Trump Sentencing reform deal heats up, pitting Trump against reliable allies MORE (D-Ill.) – Reid deputy is a Gang of Six member who also served on Simpson-Bowles.

• Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) – Appropriations Committee chairman participated in the Biden talks.

• Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTo make the House of Representatives work again, make it bigger Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' MORE (D-N.Y.) – Schumer is a Reid ally who would not let Democrats get rolled in the negotiations.


The major contenders to be selected by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Sen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ky.):

• Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOvernight Energy: Trump EPA to defend Obama smog rule | Wheeler gets warmer welcome before Senate | Animal rights groups sue Interior over pro-hunting council EPA’s Wheeler gets warmer welcome at Senate hearing Trump has no plans to endorse in Tennessee GOP governor's race: report MORE (R-Wyo.) – Member of leadership team who throws sharp elbows on 2010 healthcare law.

• Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchSentencing reform deal heats up, pitting Trump against reliable allies Dem lawmaker calls Trump racist in response to 'dog' comment PETA calls out Trump for attacking Omarosa as a 'dog' MORE (R-Utah) – Ranking member of Finance Committee told The Hill, “I can live with [being appointed] or live without it.” Some point out that Hatch, who could face a primary challenge next year, will not be keen on finding common ground with Democrats.

• Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) – McConnell’s deputy participated in the Biden talks and is not seeking reelection.

• Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenate panel spars with Trump administration over treatment of unaccompanied immigrant children Senate study: Trump hasn’t provided adequate support to detained migrant children Senators introduce bill to change process to levy national security tariffs MORE (R-Ohio) – Portman, a budget director in George W. Bush’s administration, has been mentioned a lot in recent days. The former House Ways and Means Committee member is widely respected on both sides of the aisle.


The major contenders to be selected by Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' Women poised to take charge in Dem majority Freedom Caucus ponders weakened future in minority MORE (R-Ohio):

• Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) – Ways and Means Committee chairman has jurisdiction over entitlement programs and served on Simpson-Bowles.


• Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) – Member of House GOP leadership team who served on Simpson-Bowles.

• Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) – Armed Services Committee chairman wary of more defense cuts, which would trigger if supercommittee deadlocks.

• Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThree scenarios for how leadership races could play out in the House New Dem ad uses Paterno, KKK, affair allegations to tar GOP leaders House Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' MORE (R-Wis.) – Budget Committee chairman has said he will serve on panel if asked. Served on Simpson-Bowles. Very likely to be picked.

• A House Republican freshman who voted for the debt-ceiling bill – Huge freshman class could get seat at the table. Names mentioned include Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackTrump’s endorsements cement power but come with risks The Hill's Morning Report — Trump optimistic about GOP’s midterm prospects as Republicans fret Women poised to take charge in Dem majority MORE (R-Tenn.).


The major contenders to be selected by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.):

• Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraJudge says California lawsuit challenging census question can proceed Calif. AG seeks info on family separation policy Trump boasts he went '5 for 5' in Tuesday's elections MORE (D-Calif.) – Member of Democratic leadership team who served on Simpson-Bowles commission.

• Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) – The third-ranking House Democrat participated in the negotiations led by Vice President Biden.

• Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) – Schakowsky is close to Pelosi and served on Simpson-Bowles commission.

• Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) – Ranking member of the House Budget Committee.


Dark horses

• Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) – Budget Committee chairman served on Simpson-Bowles commission, but the Gang of Six member probably won’t be tapped.

• Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayGOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work Senate Dems press Sessions for records on racial discrimination complaints Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press MORE (D-Wash.) – Head of the Democrats’ campaign committee has a decent shot of being appointed.

• Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedPentagon, GOP breathe sign of relief after Trump cancels parade Top Senate Democrat: Space Force is 'not the way to go' Sunday shows preview: Virginia lawmakers talk Charlottesville, anniversary protests MORE (D-R.I.) – Reed is respected on both sides of the aisle, and unlike others in the Senate, refrains from partisan barbs.

• Sen. Mike JohannsMichael (Mike) Owen JohannsMeet the Democratic sleeper candidate gunning for Senate in Nebraska Farmers, tax incentives can ease the pain of a smaller farm bill Lobbying World MORE (R-Neb.) – Johanns, a supporter of revamping farm subsidies, backs the Gang of Six plan.

• Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP looks to injure Nelson over Russia comments Rubio’s pro-family, conservative family leave policy promotes stability Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries MORE (R-Fla.) – Rising star in the GOP.

• Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSantorum: Mueller could avoid charges of McCarthyism by investigating DOJ, FBI 8,000 new ways the Trump administration is undermining immigration court independence Watergate's John Dean rips Trump: I doubt you have any idea what McGahn told Mueller MORE (R-Ala.) – Ranking member of Budget Committee toes the party line.

• Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorHillicon Valley: GOP leader wants Twitter CEO to testify on bias claims | Sinclair beefs up lobbying during merger fight | Facebook users experience brief outage | South Korea eyes new taxes on tech Sinclair hired GOP lobbyists after FCC cracked down on proposed Tribune merger California wildfires prompt deficit debate in Congress MORE (R-Va.) – House majority leader has not said whether he wants to serve on the panel. But after the friction between the Speaker and Cantor this summer, some say the chance of a Cantor appointment is less than 50-50.

• Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) – Member of the House GOP leadership team who sits on Budget and Ways and Means committees.

• Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) – The Washington Post pegs the deputy whip a front-runner.

• Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) – Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid.

• Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) – Vocal supporter of the 2010 healthcare reform law.

• Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) – Trusted ally of Pelosi.

• Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) – Ranking member of House Appropriations Committee. Like others in the Democratic Caucus, Dicks has argued for more stimulus funding to create jobs.

• Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) – Schwartz’s candidacy has picked up steam over the last week. But her support for eliminating a controversial payment advisory board that was included in the healthcare law could hurt her chances.

• Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) – Ranking member of Energy and Commerce Committee is a strong supporter of protecting Medicare and Medicaid.


Long shots, other names floated

• Sen. Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ga.) – Gang of Six member says he is not interested.

• Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe real disease: Price transparency key to saving Medicare and lowering the debt Mr. President, let markets help save Medicare Pension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands MORE (R-Okla.) – Gang of Six member is unlikely to be selected.

• Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances White House weighs clawing back State, foreign aid funding Rand Paul to ask Trump to lift sanctions on Russian leaders MORE (R-Tenn.) – Has expressed interesting in serving on the committee.

• Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoIt’s possible to protect national security without jeopardizing the economy Tougher Russia sanctions face skepticism from Senate Republicans On The Money: Trump floats steeper tariffs on China | Senate GOP battles for leverage with House on spending | Trump asked Treasury to look into capital gains tax cut | Senate clears 4B 'minibus' spending measure MORE (R-Idaho) – Gang of Six member.

• Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) – Favored by conservatives, but a long shot.

• Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up GOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work Ex-Trump adviser: Shutdown 'not worst idea in the world' MORE (R-S.D.) – Selecting Thune or Sens. John CornynJohn CornynSen. Warner to introduce amendment limiting Trump’s ability to revoke security clearances Sentencing reform deal heats up, pitting Trump against reliable allies Rand Paul to ask Trump to lift sanctions on Russian leaders MORE (R-Texas) or Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderGovernor's race grabs spotlight in Tennessee primaries A single courageous senator can derail the Trump administration GOP worries trade wars will last as Trump engages in temporary tiffs MORE (R-Tenn.) could trigger leadership politics. All three have their eyes on replacing Kyl as whip in 2013.

• Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s GOP feuds dominate ahead of midterms Dustbin 2020: The best Dems who surely won’t get the nomination Vulnerable Dems side with Warren in battle over consumer bureau MORE (D-Ohio) – Highly unlikely; Brown is facing a tough reelection campaign in 2012.

• Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems to challenge Kavanaugh for White House records Democrats question if Kavanaugh lied about work on terrorism policy Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints MORE (D-Calif.) – Centrist knows how to cut deals.

• Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand: 'Solely focused' on 2018, not potential 2020 White House bid Sunday shows preview: Trump stokes intel feud over clearances Boogeywomen — GOP vilifies big-name female Dems MORE (D-N.Y.) – Her stock is on the rise, but she’s unlikely to be appointed.

• Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinOn Nicaragua, the silence of the left is deafening Dem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation MORE (D-Iowa) – Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

* Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDems to challenge Kavanaugh for White House records Overnight Health Care: Senate takes up massive HHS spending bill next week | Companies see no sign of drugmakers cutting prices, despite Trump claims | Manchin hits opponent on ObamaCare lawsuit Manchin hits opponent on ObamaCare lawsuit with new ad MORE (D-W.Va.) – Freshman seeking reelection in 2012 wants on the committee, though he has acknowledged his chances are slim.

• Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallRecord number of LGBT candidates running for governor Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Democratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat MORE (D-Colo.) – Supporter of a balanced-budget amendment.

• Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenators demand answers on reported lead poisoning at Army bases Top Republican: Senate panel not ready to wrap up Russia probe The Memo: For Trump, this week has been anything but sleepy MORE (D-Va.) – Would like to be picked, but knows he probably won’t make the cut.

• Rep. Randy ForbesJames (Randy) Randy ForbesToo much ‘can do,’ not enough candor Trump makes little headway filling out Pentagon jobs Why there's only one choice for Trump's Navy secretary MORE (R-Va.) – Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

• Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) – Freshman member who backed BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse Dem: Party's aging leaders is 'a problem' Women poised to take charge in Dem majority Freedom Caucus ponders weakened future in minority MORE debt bill amid uproar from the right.

• Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) – Boehner probably won’t pick the chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

• Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) – Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

• Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) – Armed Services Committee member.

• Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) – Supported GOP’s “cut, cap and balance” bill.

• Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) – Backed Gang of Six plan.

• Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) – The House minority whip, a centrist, is viewed as an unlikely choice.

• Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) – Ranking member on the Ways and Means Committee.

• Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) – Pelosi confidant who voted against final debt deal.

• Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchOne Vermont Republican wins statewide nomination in six races Live results: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut hold primaries Overnight Health Care: Trump officials approve proposals to shore up ObamaCare | Study says 'Medicare for All' would cost .6T over 10 years | Dems court conservative Republican in drug pricing fight MORE (D-Vt.) – Welch has been a leading voice for the House Democratic Caucus this year.


Alexander Bolton, Bernie Becker, Erik Wasson, Cristina Marcos and Jake Interrante contributed to this report.


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