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 Mason ReidTrump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Trump weighs in on UFOs in Stephanopoulos interview Impeachment will reelect Trump MORE (D-Nev.):

• Sen. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusOvernight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms Congress gives McCain the highest honor Judge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester 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 DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle 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 (Chuck) Ellis SchumerElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw US women's soccer team reignites equal pay push 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Ky.):

• Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoBipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' Bipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy: 'You are the pride of our nation' MORE (R-Wyo.) – Member of leadership team who throws sharp elbows on 2010 healthcare law.

• Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer Trump gambles in push for drug import proposal Biden's role in Anita Hill hearings defended by witness not allowed to testify 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 PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHouse passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams House passes bill to establish DHS cyber 'first responder' teams Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump 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 Andrew BoehnerTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump 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 Davis RyanIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Inside Biden's preparations for first debate 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 Lynn BlackBottom line Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion Democrats take heat from party | More states sue Purdue over opioid epidemic | 1 in 4 in poll say high costs led them to skip medical care Lamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee MORE (R-Tenn.).


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

• Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraHillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger Hillicon Valley: Tim Cook visits White House | House hearing grapples with deepfake threat | Bill, Melinda Gates launch lobbying group | Tech turns to K-Street in antitrust fight | Lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger New lawsuit poses major threat to T-Mobile, Sprint merger 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 MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn Murray It's time to let Medicare to negotiate drug prices Ocasio-Cortez shares verse by the 'Congressional Destiny's Child' in promotion of new birth control legislation Ocasio-Cortez shares verse by the 'Congressional Destiny's Child' in promotion of new birth control legislation MORE (D-Wash.) – Head of the Democrats’ campaign committee has a decent shot of being appointed.

• Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedTop voting machine manufacturer urges Congress to make paper records required Top voting machine manufacturer urges Congress to make paper records required Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties 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 JohannsMichael (Mike) Owen JohannsMeet the Democratic sleeper candidate gunning for Senate in Nebraska Farmers, tax incentives can ease the pain of a smaller farm bill Lobbying World MORE (R-Neb.) – Johanns, a supporter of revamping farm subsidies, backs the Gang of Six plan.

• Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE (R-Fla.) – Rising star in the GOP.

• Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion MORE (R-Ala.) – Ranking member of Budget Committee toes the party line.

• Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorGOP faces tough battle to become 'party of health care' 737 crisis tests Boeing's clout in Washington House Republicans find silver lining in minority 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 ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissRepublicans say Democrats holding up disaster relief as 'Sandy payback' Ex-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances The Hill's Morning Report - Trump budget reignites border security fight MORE (R-Ga.) – Gang of Six member says he is not interested.

• Sen. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE (R-Okla.) – Gang of Six member is unlikely to be selected.

• Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPress: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Press: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Tenn.) – Has expressed interesting in serving on the committee.

• Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoCongress can defend against Russia by outlawing anonymous shell companies On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump MORE (R-Idaho) – Gang of Six member.

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

• Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTrump's border funding comes back from the dead Public policy expert: US has become 'outlier' on immigration practices Public policy expert: US has become 'outlier' on immigration practices MORE (R-S.D.) – Selecting Thune or Sens. John CornynJohn CornynTrump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Trump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' Overnight Health Care: Pelosi to change drug-pricing plan after complaints | 2020 Democrats to attend Planned Parenthood abortion forum | House holds first major 'Medicare for All' hearing MORE (R-Texas) or Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderTaylor Swift thanks Cory Booker for signing Equality Act petition Taylor Swift thanks Cory Booker for signing Equality Act petition Senate health panel to move forward on package to lower health costs next week MORE (R-Tenn.) could trigger leadership politics. All three have their eyes on replacing Kyl as whip in 2013.

• Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCongress can defend against Russia by outlawing anonymous shell companies Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties MORE (D-Ohio) – Highly unlikely; Brown is facing a tough reelection campaign in 2012.

• Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community Trump remarks deepen distrust with intelligence community US women's soccer team reignites equal pay push MORE (D-Calif.) – Centrist knows how to cut deals.

• Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth Gillibrand2020 Democrats mark 7th anniversary of DACA 2020 Democrats mark 7th anniversary of DACA Julián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' MORE (D-N.Y.) – Her stock is on the rise, but she’s unlikely to be appointed.

• Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinStop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave The FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate Wisconsin lawmaker refuses to cut hair until sign-language bill passes MORE (D-Iowa) – Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

* Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle MORE (D-W.Va.) – Freshman seeking reelection in 2012 wants on the committee, though he has acknowledged his chances are slim.

• Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallDemocrats hope some presidential candidates drop out — and run for Senate  Democrats hope some presidential candidates drop out — and run for Senate  Denver Post editorial board says Gardner endorsement was 'mistake' MORE (D-Colo.) – Supporter of a balanced-budget amendment.

• Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw Trump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' MORE (D-Va.) – Would like to be picked, but knows he probably won’t make the cut.

• Rep. Randy ForbesJames (Randy) Randy ForbesToo much ‘can do,’ not enough candor Trump makes little headway filling out Pentagon jobs Why there's only one choice for Trump's Navy secretary MORE (R-Va.) – Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

• Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) – Freshman member who backed BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Rep. Amash stokes talk of campaign against Trump 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 Francis WelchHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Lawmakers grapple with deepfake threat at hearing Lawmakers grapple with deepfake threat at hearing 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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