With just a few short months to come up with a plan for significant budget savings, the leaders of the congressional deficit "super committee" said in a statement today that they're busy devising a plan of action.
"In our capacity as co-chairmen, we are engaging in serious discussions to determine what set of rules will govern the committee's operation, examining a schedule of potential meetings and exploring how to build a committee staff that will help us achieve success," Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas said in a statement.
Murray and Hensarling are leading the group of 12 congressmen chosen for the "super committee" formed as part of the deal President Obama struck with congressional Republicans to raise the debt ceiling. The group is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts by Thanksgiving.
Murray and Hensarling acknowledged the challenge ahead of them in the statement. "We are confident that most Americans will agree that when building an organization from the ground-up with a short time-table for success, it's important to get it right the first time," they said.
Most of the 12 congressmen are reviewing the deficit reduction proposals that other groups have put forward over the past several years, the co-chairs said. Members from both sides of the aisle are "eager to engage one another," they said.
In addition to Murray and Hensarling, the super committee members are: Democratic Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Xavier Becerra (Calif.), and James Clyburn (S.C.); Republican Reps. Dave Camp (Mich.) and Fred Upton (Mich.); Republican Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), and Rob Portman (Ohio); and Democratic Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.) and John Kerry (Mass.).