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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 ReidStaff shakeup begins at Dem campaign committee The Hill's 12:30 Report Emanuel flips the bird when asked about 2020 MORE (D-Nev.):

• Sen. Max BaucusMax BaucusBusiness groups express support for Branstad nomination The mysterious sealed opioid report fuels speculation Lobbying World 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 DurbinDick DurbinSenators move to protect 'Dreamers' Manchin urging colleagues to block funding bill as shutdown looms The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 SchumerSenate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown Dems see ’18 upside in ObamaCare repeal Confirm Gary Richard Brown for the Eastern District of New York 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 McConnellMitch McConnellSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown President Obama should curb mass incarceration with clemency MORE (R-Ky.):

• Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoGOP eyes big gamble on ObamaCare Reid defends relationship with McConnell in farewell speech Overnight Energy: Trump taps EPA foe to head agency | Energy reform bill officially dead MORE (R-Wyo.) – Member of leadership team who throws sharp elbows on 2010 healthcare law.

• Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchTax reform: Starting place for jobs, growth Overnight Finance: Senate Dems dig in as shutdown looms | Trump taps fast-food exec for Labor chief | Portland's new CEO tax Mnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators 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 PortmanRob PortmanSenators to Trump: Get tough on Russia over Ukraine John Glenn dies at 95 John Glenn hospitalized 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 BoehnerNetanyahu: 'No question' about Trump's support for Israel The Hill's 12:30 Report Boehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt 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 RyanPresident Obama should curb mass incarceration with clemency Senators move to protect 'Dreamers' Cruz, DeSantis to introduce constitutional amendment on term limits 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 BlackTrump to pick Rep. McMorris Rodgers for Interior secretary Messer eyes challenging Donnelly for Indiana Senate seat Lobbying World MORE (R-Tenn.).


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

• Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraBecerra: California ready to fight Trump administration House Dems to perform election autopsy Sanders vs. Trump: The battle of the bully pulpit 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 MurrayPatty MurrayReid defends relationship with McConnell in farewell speech Top Dem signals likely opposition to Sessions nomination Overnight Finance: Trump takes victory lap at Carrier plant | House passes 'too big to fail' revamp | Trump econ team takes shape MORE (D-Wash.) – Head of the Democrats’ campaign committee has a decent shot of being appointed.

• Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedBudowsky: Did Putin elect Trump? This Week in Cybersecurity: Dems press for information on Russian hacks A Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair 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 JohannsMike JohannsTo buy a Swiss company, ChemChina must pass through Washington Republican senator vows to block nominees over ObamaCare co-ops Revisiting insurance regulatory reform in a post-crisis world MORE (R-Neb.) – Johanns, a supporter of revamping farm subsidies, backs the Gang of Six plan.

• Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioSenate clears water bill with Flint aid, drought relief What Trump's Cabinet picks reveal House passes water bill with Flint aid, drought relief MORE (R-Fla.) – Rising star in the GOP.

• Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsSenate clears water bill with Flint aid, drought relief Critics of Jeff Sessions's LGBT case don't know their history (or his) Senate sets date for hearings on Sessions's attorney general nomination MORE (R-Ala.) – Ranking member of Budget Committee toes the party line.

• Rep. Eric CantorEric CantorTrump allies warn: No compromise on immigration Chamber of Commerce overhauls lobbying operation Laura Ingraham under consideration for White House press secretary 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 ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (R-Ga.) – Gang of Six member says he is not interested.

• Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnWill Trump back women’s museum? Don't roll back ban on earmarks Ryan calls out GOP in anti-poverty fight MORE (R-Okla.) – Gang of Six member is unlikely to be selected.

• Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerUkrainians made their choice for freedom, but now need US help Week ahead in defense: Anticipation builds for State pick; Pentagon chief's last trip abroad Former Ford CEO possible candidate for secretary of State: report MORE (R-Tenn.) – Has expressed interesting in serving on the committee.

• Sen. Mike CrapoMike CrapoDodd-Frank ripe for reform, not repeal Ryan lights Capitol Christmas tree Ex-Im faces new problems with Trump MORE (R-Idaho) – Gang of Six member.

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

• Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneOvernight Tech: Last-ditch effort to get Dem FCC commish confirmed | Facebook's Sandberg on fake news | Microsoft completes LinkedIn deal FCC chairman willing to resign to get colleague confirmed Overnight Tech: AT&T, Time Warner CEOs defend merger before Congress | More tech execs join Trump team | Republican details path to undoing net neutrality MORE (R-S.D.) – Selecting Thune or Sens. John CornynJohn CornynSenators move to protect 'Dreamers' Democrats back down from shutdown threat Tax reform: Starting place for jobs, growth MORE (R-Texas) or Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderGOP eyes big gamble on ObamaCare Mnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators Reid bids farewell to the Senate MORE (R-Tenn.) could trigger leadership politics. All three have their eyes on replacing Kyl as whip in 2013.

• Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown Stopgap funding bill poised to pass Senate before midnight deadline MORE (D-Ohio) – Highly unlikely; Brown is facing a tough reelection campaign in 2012.

• Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinSenate sets date for hearings on Sessions's attorney general nomination Senators move to protect 'Dreamers' Mika Brzezinski: Clinton camp wanted me off the air MORE (D-Calif.) – Centrist knows how to cut deals.

• Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDuckworth: Expediting Mattis waiver 'dangerous' Senate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-N.Y.) – Her stock is on the rise, but she’s unlikely to be appointed.

• Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa) – Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

* Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown Senate sets date for hearings on Sessions's attorney general nomination MORE (D-W.Va.) – Freshman seeking reelection in 2012 wants on the committee, though he has acknowledged his chances are slim.

• Sen. Mark UdallMark UdallGardner's chief of staff tapped for Senate GOP campaign director The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate Colorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open MORE (D-Colo.) – Supporter of a balanced-budget amendment.

• Sen. Mark WarnerMark WarnerSenate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown Stopgap funding bill poised to pass Senate before midnight deadline MORE (D-Va.) – Would like to be picked, but knows he probably won’t make the cut.

• Rep. Randy ForbesRandy ForbesHouse stays Republican as GOP limits losses 78 lawmakers vote to sustain Obama veto Insiders dominate year of the outsider MORE (R-Va.) – Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

• Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) – Freshman member who backed BoehnerJohn BoehnerNetanyahu: 'No question' about Trump's support for Israel The Hill's 12:30 Report Boehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt 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 WelchOversight panel demands answers on Pentagon waste report Dems delay vote on picking leaders Left emboldened for post-Obama era 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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