Super Committee Roster Announced, Key Members Understand LIHTC Program
The legislation signed by the president on Aug. 2 calls for a two-step increase in the federal debt ceiling plus spending cuts of about $917 billion. It also created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction with the goal of slashing an additional $1.5 trillion from the deficit over the coming decade. According to the plan, the committee consists of an evenly split, 12-member bipartisan "Super Committee."
The Super Committee is required to vote on a plan to achieve these objectives by Nov. 23, using revenue increases, spending cuts or a combination. If the committee members cannot agree on a plan or if either house of Congress votes it down, automatic and severe spending cuts of $1.5 trillion will be imposed equally on the Department of Defense and domestic programs, including Medicare provider payments. To approve a final package of deficit cuts and extend the debt ceiling, all that will be needed is a simple majority — seven votes.
The first leader to name his appointees to the Super Committee was Senate Leader Harry Reid. He decided to appoint:
• Senate Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray;
• Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus; and
• Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry.
As part of his appointments, Senator Reid appointed Senator Murray as the co-chair of the committee. House Speaker John Boehner selected Senator Murray’s co-chair and two other members:
• House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling;
• House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp; and
• House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton.
Speaker Boehner tapped Hensarling to serve as co-chair of the committee. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell also announced his appointments to the Super Committee:
• Republican Whip Senator Jon Kyl;
• Senator Pat Toomey, a member of the Budget, Banking, Commerce and Joint Economic Committees; and
• Senator Rob Portman, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Budget Committee.
Then, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced her appointments:
• Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn;
• Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra; and
• Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen.
According to the National Council of State Housing Agencies, many of the committee members are familiar with and have been supportive housing finance agency programs. In addition, the Housing Advisory Group announced that it was pleased to see several members who understand the low-income housing tax credit program and are very familiar with the benefits of the program.
Senator John Kerry is considered one of the low-income housing tax credit’s strongest supporters and good friend of the industry. And the Housing Advisory Group said it also enjoys very good working relationships with Senators Portman, Baucus, and Murray; Chairman Camp; and Representatives Becerra and Van Hollen.