WASHINGTON (AP) - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has appointed three Democrats to Congress' new debt-reduction supercommittee, completing the 12-member panel's roster.
The California Democrat appointed Reps. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina and Xavier Becerra of California, who are both members of the party's House leadership teams. She also named Maryland's Chris Van Hollen, top Democrat on the Budget Committee.
Pelosi's appointments bring racial diversity to the supercommittee because Clyburn is black and Becerra is Hispanic.
The panel is divided evenly among Democrats and Republicans. It has until Thanksgiving to propose $1.5 trillion in 10-year budget savings. If it does not propose a package or if Congress doesn't approve it, $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts will be triggered.
From Van Hollen: "I am honored to have been asked by Democratic Leader Pelosi to serve on the Joint Committee. I look forward to working with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to address the huge challenge before us."
"Putting America back to work is the best and most immediate way to reduce our deficit as we also develop and implement a balanced plan to establish long-term fiscal discipline and sustained economic growth. Our plan should put jobs first, sharpen America's competitive edge, ensure health and retirement security, and require shared responsibility from those who have done so well even during these tough economic times. Together, we can build a prosperous and secure future for all Americans."