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Chris Van Hollen Named To Special Committee, Likely No Benefits To D.C. Metro Region

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Rep. Chris Van Hollen says he hopes the super committee will come together to reach the goal of meeting the $1.5 trillion deficit reduction.
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Rep. Chris Van Hollen says he hopes the super committee will come together to reach the goal of meeting the $1.5 trillion deficit reduction.

A Maryland lawmaker has been named to a special committee in charge of finding ways to reduce the deficit, but his position may not help the region at all.

Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen will now be at the negotiating table with just 11 other lawmakers from both chambers of Congress. In the past, that would have meant he could steer some cash back to his district.

William Galston of the Brookings Intuition says that's not the case this time around.

"Yes, the dynamics have changed," says Galston. "First of all, the near elimination of earmarks also eliminates one of the traditional means that leaders and committees have used to facilitate agreement."

The conservative Heritage Foundations Michael Franc says those 12 committee members need to think beyond their states needs.

"It's still not the time for anyone to put forward a kind of parochial proposal," says Franc. "I think the task of the committee is designed to force them to think nationally and internationally in scope, this is meant to restore America’s future in many ways."

Congress is in recess until September, and the joint committee is required to send its spending plan to the whole Congress by Thanksgiving.

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