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Super Committee to the Rescue

The recent debt ceiling negotiation wrestling match resulted in the United States losing its AAA credit rating and also resulted in the creation of a new committee.


The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Supercommittee or Super Congress, was created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2.

Partly to mitigate the possibility of another session of extended partisan disputes over debt reduction, the committee is tasked with the responsibility of recommending at least $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction steps beyond what was agreed upon during the debt ceiling negotiations. These reduction steps are to occur over a 10–year period. The committee has until November 23, 2011 to come to an agreement on where the reductions will be taken. Their package will then be voted on by the full Congress in a simple up or down vote without any amendments or filibusters. Congress has until December 25, 2011 to vote on the package.

If the super committee is unable to agree on the reductions or if Congress doesn't pass it by the dates stipulated, a built-in "trigger mechanism" will enact $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts.

The members of the Super Committee have been selected and announced. They are shown in the table below.


Rep. Xavier Becerra - CA 31st CD Democratic Caucus Vice-Chairman of the United States House of Representatives. Serving since 1993 - *Scorecard 94.49%

Rep. Dave Camp – MI 4th CD Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Serving Since 1991 - *Scorecard 6.9%

Rep. James Clyburn – SC 6th CD Assistant Democratic Leader of the United Sates House of Representatives. Serving since 1993 - *Scorecard 89.48%

Rep. Jeb Hensarling – TX 5th CD Chairman of House Republican Conference. Serving since 2003 - *Scorecard 2.2%

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Jr. - MD 8th CD Member of the House of Representatives. Serving since 2003 - *Progressive Score 93.45%

Rep. Fred Upton – MI 6th CD Chairman of House Energy an Commerce Committee. Serving since 1987 - *Scorecard 15.3%

Sen. Max Baucus – Montana. Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Serving since 1978 - *Scorecard 75.49%

Sen. Jon Kyl – Arizona, Senate Minority Whip. Serving since 1995 - *Scorecard 3.8%

Sen. John Kerry - Massachusets, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Serving since 1985 - *Scorecard 91.50%

Sen. Rob Portman – Ohio. Serving since January 2011 - *Scorecard 3.64%

Sen. Patty Murray – Washington, Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Serving since 1993 - *Scorecard 91.11%

Sen. Pat Toomey – Pennsylvania. Serving since January 2011 - *Scorecard 1.85

*Overall Lifetime Progressive Scorecard rate developed by Progressive Punch. The ratings posted are those of the Progressive Punch Progressive Scorecard and do not necessarily reflect the views of the LA Progressive.

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ProgressivePunch uses a non-partisan searchable database of Congressional voting records to derive a performance rating for each member of Congress and the Senate from a progressive perspective. Their rating algorithm grades each member within 160 different issue categories. The number shown in each table reflects the rating given by Progressive Punch in their Overall Lifetime Progressive Score. To learn more about the Progressive Punch scorecard, click here.

Many progressives were hoping Senator Bernie Sanders would be selected. He has been a committed outspoken critic of the champions for the corporations and made it clear that he welcomed an invitation to sit on the committee although he doubted he’d ever get that invitation. And he was right.

But Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Ca) of Southern California’s 31st congressional district was selected. Becerra was one of the signers of “The Peoples Budget”, the budget of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for FY 2012. This is the progressive budget the major media outlets seemed to know nothing about or you'd think so based on their lack of reporting on it — you can see a list of the 77 signers of the Progressive Budget and read about it here.

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Congressman Becerra consistently ranks high on progressive scorecards with particularly high marks when it comes to voting against corporate subsidies and for the interests of the poor and working class.

sharon kyle

Sharon Kyle

Sharon Kyle