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

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax BaucusLawmakers: Leave advertising tax break alone GOP: FBI firing won't slow agenda White House tax-reform push is ‘game changer,’ says ex-chairman MORE (D-Mont.) and Sens. John KerryJohn KerryFrustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response Budowsky: Dems madder than hell Tillerson: 'My view didn’t change' on Paris climate agreement MORE (D-Mass.) and Patty MurrayPatty MurrayDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Live coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill Senators grill Perry on Yucca nuclear storage plans MORE (D-Wash.) will serve on the supercommittee tasked with assembling a $1.5 trillion deficit-reduction package by Thanksgiving.

Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidCharles Koch thanks Harry Reid for helping his book sales Warren cautions Dems against infighting Dems see surge of new candidates 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 McConnellMitch McConnellErnst polls supporters on Obamacare repeal plan Cornyn: Passing Senate healthcare bill by July 4 ‘optimistic’ Sasse has 'nothing to announce' on GOP ObamaCare repeal MORE (Ky.).


Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRyan reminds lawmakers to be on time for votes Juan Williams: GOP fumbles on healthcare The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 DurbinDick DurbinDem senator: GOP's healthcare approach will 'devastate Medicaid' Sunday shows preview: Senate healthcare debate heats up Dems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity 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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