Republicans in the House and Senate are working ahead of the formation of the bicameral deficit-reduction supercommittee to guarantee increased transparency in the committees process.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid: Early voting states Iowa, New Hampshire 'not representative of the country anymore' The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Bottom Line MORE (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Fireworks on health care expected at Dem debate | Trump FDA pick dodges on vaping ban | Trump to host meeting on youth vaping Friday | AMA calls for immediate vaping ban GOP senator blocks vote on House-passed Violence Against Women Act On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (R-Ky.), a group of six GOP senators requested that the supercommittee meetings not take place behind closed doors.

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The letter asks that Reid and McConnell, who each will appoint three members of the Senate to the 12-member committee, see that all meetings of the deficit-reduction committee are done in a transparent manner through advanced public notification, public attendance and live television broadcasts.

Sens. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (Nev.), David VitterDavid Bruce VitterRed-state governor races put both parties on edge Louisiana Republicans score big legislative wins Trump calls on Republicans to vote out Democratic Louisiana governor amid GOP infighting MORE (La.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Senators introduce bipartisan bill restricting police use of facial recognition tech MORE (Utah), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid VA chief pressed on efforts to prevent veteran suicides McConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal MORE (Ark.), Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteGOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Trump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (N.H.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSondland testifies quid pro quo in Ukraine was real and widely known Dem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens Former Bush aide defends Vindman, criticizes GOP congressmen for 'defaming' him MORE (Wis.) signed the letter.

On Thursday, Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan (Fla.) announced he would introduce similar legislation in the House. “Too much is at stake to allow this 12-member committee to make critical decisions about the country’s future behind closed doors,” Buchanan said in a statement.

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Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress have until Aug. 16 to appoint six members from the House and six from the Senate to the so-called supercommittee. The panel will be tasked with crafting a $1.5 trillion deficit-reduction package that will be presented to Congress before Thanksgiving, with an up-or-down vote on the whole package required by Christmas.

In a statement Thursday, Johnson expressed dismay with the inclusion of the supercommittee in the debt-limit bill, criticizing the separation of deficit decisions from the normal legislative process.


“The least we should expect is for that committee to do its business in the open,” he said.  

In their letter, the six GOP senators wrote that they were “united in [their] concern about the authority granted to this committee.”

“If our colleagues wish to raise taxes or propose spending cuts, the American people have a right to see that process unfold,” they wrote.

Vitter this week also introduced the Super Committee Sunshine Act, a bill designed to force appointed members of the supercommittee to disclose campaign donations of more than $1,000 they receive while serving on the panel. This bill would likely take on greater significance if members of the supercommittee run for office in 2012.

Although speculation regarding who will serve on the supercommittee has been rampant since the debt-limit deal became law Tuesday, congressional leaders have remained quiet about whom they are considering for the 12 slots.