Boehner appoints three House leaders to deficit-reduction committee

Amanda Carey Contributor
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On Wednesday morning Speaker of the House John Boehner announced three appointments to the Joint Committee of Congress that was created by recent debt ceiling legislation. His appointments are Republican Conference Chair Jeb Hensarling of Texas, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp of Michigan, and Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton of Michigan.

Hensarling will serve as the co-chair of the committee.

“The lawmakers I have appointed to serve on this joint committee are proven leaders who have earned the trust and confidence of their colleagues and constituents,” said Boehner in a statement announcing his picks.

“They understand the gravity of our debt crisis and I appreciate their willingness to serve on this panel.”

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chair of the House Budget Committee, praised the Speaker’s picks, calling them “three excellent Republican members.”

Ryan added that he specifically asked not to be considered for the committee because “only the Budget Committee can write legislation to reform the budget process.” (RELATED: Senate Banking Committee probing S&P downgrade)

Boehner’s picks on the House side round out the Republicans’ representation on the committee. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s picks, also announced Wednesday, are Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio.

On Monday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his three Democratic appointees: Sens. Max  Baucus of Montana, John Kerry of Massachusetts, and Patty Murray of Washington.

In the coming months, the joint committee will be tasked with identifying at least $1.2 trillion in spending cuts before President Obama can request a second debt ceiling increase.