Leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have named nine of the 12 members of a committee that will be expected to find up to $1.5 trillion in savings to reduce the nation's deficit.
The White House said Wednesday that President Barack Obama expects the members of the panel to make a serious effort to get the job done.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid selected fellow Democratic Senators Patty Murray, Max Baucus, and John Kerry, a former Democratic presidential candidate.
Murray's selection has drawn criticism, as she also chairs the committee on Democratic senators' re-election campaigns.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also announced his choices: Republican Senators Jon Kyl, Rob Portman, and Pat Toomey.
House Speaker John Boehner selected Republican Congressmen Jeb Hensarling, Dave Camp, and Fred Upton.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, has yet to announce her picks, which will be the final three members of the committee.
The group is the result of a hard-won deal, passed last week, to raise the nation's debt ceiling. The committee has until November 23 to negotiate a set of recommendations to reduce the deficit.
If those efforts fail, a wide swath of budget cuts will automatically go into effect across many government agencies.