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US Lawmakers Announce Budget Committee Choices


President Barack Obama,center, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, right, and House Speaker John Boehner, left, during budget talks last month at the White House.

President Barack Obama,center, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, right, and House Speaker John Boehner, left, during budget talks last month at the White House.

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.

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