Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday tapped Sens. Patty Murray, John Kerry and Max Baucus as his three choices for the so-called "super committee" that was created to cut more than $1 trillion in federal spending by year's end.
Murray, D-Wash, Kerry, D-Mass., and Baucus, D-Mont., will join nine yet-to-be-named lawmakers chosen by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to round out a congressional committee that was spawned from last week's deal to raise the federal debt ceiling.
The panel will be charged with devising a plan to reduce federal budget deficits by more than $1 trillion.
In Washington, it's being called a "super committee," and it promises to be the most closely watched congressional panel for the remainder of the year.
Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, which President Barack Obama signed last week, the panel must make its recommendations by late November. Then the House of Representatives and the Senate must vote on the package by Dec. 23. If all that doesn't result in at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, automatic spending cuts would take effect in 2013.