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Reid taps Baucus, Kerry and Murray for debt-reduction ‘supercommittee’

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben Baucus2020 Dems pose a big dilemma for Schumer Steady American leadership is key to success with China and Korea Orrin Hatch, ‘a tough old bird,’ got a lot done in the Senate MORE (D-Mont.) and Sens. John KerryJohn Forbes Kerry2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states When it comes to Colombia, America is in a tough spot 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn Murray30 million people will experience eating disorders — the CDC needs to help Mulvaney remarks on Trump budget plan spark confusion Overnight Finance: Mulvaney sparks confusion with budget remarks | Trump spars with lawmakers on tariffs | Treasury looks to kill 300 tax regs | Intel chief's warning on debt MORE (D-Wash.) will serve on the supercommittee tasked with assembling a $1.5 trillion deficit-reduction package by Thanksgiving.

Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE (D-Nev.) announced his selections to the 12-member panel late Tuesday and touted the trio's history of bipartisanship.

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“I have great faith in Senator Murray as the co-chair of the committee. Her years of experience on the Senate Budget and Appropriations committees have given her a depth of knowledge on budget issues, and demonstrated her ability to work across party lines," Reid said in a statement. "Senators Baucus and Kerry are two of the Senate’s most respected and experienced legislators. Their legislative accomplishments are matched only by their records of forging strong bonds with their Republican colleagues."

Baucus, Kerry and Murray will serve with three Senate Republicans to be named by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE (Ky.).


Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (R-Ohio) and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) will each pick three of the panel’s other members.

Labor unions and liberal groups lobbied Reid vigorously not to appoint members of the Senate’s Gang of Six to the panel because they unveiled a framework last month calling for significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

Those liberal groups were leery of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinAmerica’s waning commitment to the promise of the First Amendment Senate rejects Trump immigration plan What to watch for in the Senate immigration votes MORE (D-Ill.), members of the Gang of Six, because they also voted for a deficit-reduction proposal from the Simpson-Bowles commission. That plan would have raised the Social Security retirement age from 67 to 69 years old.

A senior Senate Republican aide said it was unbelievable that Reid would appoint Murray, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, to the supercommittee. The GOP aide said the head of a partisan political committee should not sit on the special debt-reduction panel that will work on reaching a bipartisan compromise by Thanksgiving.


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