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Bothell native Sen. Murray named to Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray - COURTESY PHOTO
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., became the first Congressional leader to announce his appointees for the "supercommittee" tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts on Tuesday: Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Max Baucus, D-Mont.; and John Kerry, D-Mass.

Bothell native Murray has been appointed as the co-chair of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which was created as part of the agreement raising the debt ceiling and will consist of six members from each legislative body and six members from each party.

On Wednesday, Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, visited Amazon Headquarters in Seattle to discuss current efforts to address unemployment among the nation’s veterans. Murray’s bill, the Hiring Heroes Act of 2011, is the first of its kind to require broad job skills training for service members returning home and comes at a time when more than one in four veterans aged 18-24 are unemployed. In addition to providing new job skills training to all service members, the bill will also create new direct federal hiring authority so that more service members have jobs waiting for them the day they leave the military, and will improve veteran mentorship programs in the working world.

Murray, Baucus and Kerry released the following joint statement after being appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction:

“We are grateful and humbled that Leader Reid asked us to join this committee to help tackle this critical issue for the American people. While some will argue there is peril in serving on this committee, we believe there is far greater peril in leaving these issues unaddressed. It is long overdue to step beyond the partisanship and politics that have overwhelmed these discussions for months.  The true danger lies in inaction, so we look forward to working with our colleagues to find solutions for our economy and for our country. We very much want this joint committee to be a serious committee because these are among the most serious challenges we’ve ever faced in the Senate.

“This is an important moment for our country. Millions of Americans are struggling in this tough economy, working overtime to pay the bills, find a job, and find a way forward for their families, and they want this Committee to force the federal government to make similar sacrifices without the red hot partisanship and brinksmanship of the last months.

“Every member of Congress knows the importance of getting our fiscal house in order.  We hear every day about the importance of ensuring our country is strong for generations to come, and we look forward to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to address these issues in a balanced, pragmatic and practical way.  This is not going to be easy. Our challenge is to find common ground without damaging anyone’s principles.  We believe we can get there.  This committee was designed to require bipartisanship, and we are going to work hard with our Republican colleagues to attain it. We know Americans will stand by us if we work together to tackle our debt and deficit and help get our economy back on track.

“This committee has to tackle the urgent challenge we face today, but it’s also about what we want our country to look like 10 years from now, 20 years from now, and for generations to come. Americans are demanding leadership, and we are going to work hard to deliver it.”

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