Now that Congress has avoided a federal default by agreeing to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts, its leaders are working on the next phase of the plan: creating a “super committee,” charged with cutting $1.5 trillion from the deficit by Nov. 23. This week the panel, which will have six Democrats and six Republicans split evenly between the House and Senate, began to take shape.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got the Democratic side started with the announcement that he will appoint Sens. Patty Murray of Washington, Max Baucus of Montana and John Kerry of Massachusetts. On Wednesday, Republican leaders filled their spots. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Sens. John Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio. House Speaker John Boehner went with Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Dave Camp of Michigan, and Fred Upton of Michigan.