The top-ranking House Democrat named to the supercommittee on deficit reduction defended fundraising by members of the panel during its deliberations.

Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the assistant Democratic leader, said Monday that while he has no upcoming political fundraisers scheduled, he doesn't think the committee's 12 members should have to suspend political fundraising while the group continues its work.

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"I think transparency is very, very important," he said on MSNBC. "But I've been planning fundraising activities now for months."

Clyburn made reference to charitable fundraising he had helped with recently in order to raise money for students to attend college. 

"I don't think I should stop doing that, and these young people are dependent on that to get back in school," he said.

Republicans have raised some pressure on members of the panel to suspend their political activities during the deliberations of the supercommittee, scheduled to take place throughout the fall. Part of their push is driven by the fact that Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayTrump health officials grilled over reports of politics in COVID-19 response CDC director pushes back on Caputo claim of 'resistance unit' at agency The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Pence lauds Harris as 'experienced debater'; Trump, Biden diverge over debate prep MORE (Wash.), the head of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee, was named one of the delegates to the panel.

"My political fundraising — I have not planned anything new. And quite frankly, all the fundraising I've been doing is for somebody else," Clyburn said. "I don't plan to do anything for myself until later in the year."