Even though Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin isn't on the joint
congressional committee charged with cutting the debt, he's hoping to
have some influence on the process because of his position in Congress.
Next week Congress returns to Washington, and all eyes will be on the
so-called "super committee" tasked with cutting more than $1 trillion
in federal spending. The committee is made up of just twelve lawmakers
from both chambers.
Senator Cardin isn't part of the elite group, but he's hoping to have
some say in the cuts because he sits on both the Budget Committee and
the Finance Committee, which have jurisdiction over entitlement programs
and the tax code.
"During that process there will be a formal way that the committees
of jurisdiction will be able to communicate with the super committee,"
says Cardin. "The Budget Committee will be relevant. The Senate Finance
Committee will be very relevant."
Cardin is hoping the super committee keeps the public informed throughout its deliberations.
"We are talking about an incredible amount of authority that's in
this committee, and if it's not transparent then I think its chances of
success are remote," he adds.
When the committee is finished, Congress will hold up or down votes on the group's recommendations.