'Super committee' to hold first organizational meeting on Thursday

The heads of the joint select committee charged with identifying $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts over 10 years announced Friday that they will hold a public organizational hearing on Thursday, followed by their first public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

The co-chairs of the panel, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in an annoucement that the Thursday hearing, at 10:30 a.m., will include opening statements by panel members and will focus on consideration of proposed committee rules. The hearing will occur in Room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The second hearing, also at 10:30 a.m. will include testimony on "The History and Drivers of Our Nation's Debt and Its Threats" from Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf. That hearing will be in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.

Widely dubbed the super committee, the panel was created by legislation last month that allows raising the federal debt ceiling and requires deficit cuts. The bill requires the committee to meet by Sept. 16 and to issue recommendations by Thanksgiving for cutting $1.5 trillion. Seven of the 12 panel members must agree for recommendations to be offered. The panel is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans and House and Senate members.

Committee recommendations will automatically receive expedited consideration with amendments barred and no Senate filibusters allowed. If the panel's recommendations are not adopted, $1.2 trillion in cuts, with half targeting defense spending and entitlements largely exempted, will be imposed. If cuts of less than $1.2 trillion are agreed on, the mandatory cuts making up the difference will be imposed.

With Congress set to return next week from recess, the panel has been gearing up for action. Murray and Hensarling announced the hiring of a staff director this week and committee Democrats and Republicans held separate discussions to plan strategy. Additional staff announcements are likely next week, aides said.

Meanwhile, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson, D-Conn., on Friday introduced three bills that he hopes will amend the mission of the so-called super committee-or create a separate parallel committee-to give job creation the same top priority as deficit reform.

"Amending the existing law to incorporate economic growth and job creation and subjecting them to the same deadlines and a trigger, would restore confidence to the American public and global markets …," said Larson, in a statement released by his office.

Although it is unlikely that Larson's legislation will be taken up by the Republican-led majority, he suggests the American public is increasingly frustrated with the partisanship in Washington and want some solutions to address high unemployment.

One of Larson's bills would add four more members to the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reform, one from each party, which Larson says would allow for the extra work involved with the added focus.

A second bill would formally amend the mission of the committee to require its members to develop both a deficit reduction plan and a job creation plan, and to report its proposed legislation to restore the nation's workforce to "full employment."

Larson's third bill is a proposal for another option-to create a separate, parallel super committee altogether to focus solely on jobs and the economy, under the same terms as the deficit panel.

"As many economists have pointed out, reducing the unemployment directly reduces our deficit," said Larson.

"The Super Committee, with its deadlines and triggers, has a unique opportunity to overcome the recent gridlock in Congress to make that happen," said Larson.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.