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Republican choices for debt panel signed a pledge to not raise taxes

WASHINGTON — Republican leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate appointed six conservative lawmakers Wednesday to the so-called "super committee" that's charged with finding ways to trim the federal deficit by more than $1 trillion by year's end.

The six bring a diverse knowledge of fiscal affairs to a committee created as part of last week's deal that allowed Congress to approve a measure to raise the federal debt ceiling.

But all six Republicans have also signed a pledge written by Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, not to raise taxes.

The Republican senators whom Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., named to the panel are Jon Kyl of Arizona, Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio. Toomey and Portman are serving their first terms in the Senate, while Kyl has ruled out running for re-election.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, chose three experienced legislators for the panel: Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan and Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tapped Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Max Baucus of Montana and Patty Murray of Washington for the "super committee."

Murray will serve as a co-chair of the panel, along with Hensarling.

Three more Democrats, to be selected by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., are to be named to the panel by Tuesday.

Deficit tops $1T

The U.S. budget deficit has topped $1 trillion for a third straight year, the Associated Press reported. The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the deficit through July totals $1.1 trillion. Three years ago, that would have been a record high for the full year. This year's deficit is on pace to exceed last year's imbalance of $1.29 trillion, but fall short of the record $1.41 trillion set in 2009.

Republican choices for debt panel signed a pledge to not raise taxes 08/10/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 10:58pm]
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