After a quick summer recess, Congress returned this week with the newly formed “Supercommittee” scheduled to hold its first debt reduction meeting this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. EST. Unlike the debt negotiations held earlier this summer, the Supercommittee meetings will be conducted openly and we’ll be there to provide live fact checking, context and analysis so you can better understand the tanlged web of money and politics and how it relates to these meetings.
Although it is not yet known if the first hearing will be televised of livestreamed online, we will have reporters in the room to provide a minute-by-minute account of the proceedings. It should be noted, however, that Thursday's gathering is designated as a rule-adopting meeting, so we expect it to be brief and without much discussion. The first substantive meeting is set for Tuesday, Sept. 13th. That hearing is titled "The History and Drivers of Our Nation's Debt and Its Threats" and will feature Dr. Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office. We will, of course, cover that event live as well.
Members of the “Supercommittee,” officially known as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, are entrusted with creating a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. Failure to do that will result in automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs.
The Supercommittee members are:
- Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
- Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
- Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
- Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.
- Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
- Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
- Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.
- Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.
- Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.
- Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.
- Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.
- Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas
Public Campaign, a non-profit organization aiming to reduce special interest money in politics, called for Supercommittee members to stop all political fundraising through November, when their work will be complete. But the members have not heeded such requests.
Eight of the 12 members have at least 14 fundraisers scheduled during the first months of debate. On Sept 7, the day before the first committee meeting, Becerra and Camp will be raising money with guests paying thousands of dollars to attend. On Sept. 13, Clyburn, Murray, Portman, and Kyl, will be holding fundraisers where attendance costs between $500 to $1,000.
So tune in Thursday morning at 10:30 for the Sunlight Live team’s take on the first Supercommittee meeting.