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Criticism Plagues Super Committee

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Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is the only local lawmaker serving on the super committee tasked with cutting $1 trillion from the federal deficit. He says the behind closed door meetings are necessary to take some of the politics out of the process.
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Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is the only local lawmaker serving on the super committee tasked with cutting $1 trillion from the federal deficit. He says the behind closed door meetings are necessary to take some of the politics out of the process.

 

The joint select committee on deficit reduction -- which is working to identify more than $1 trillion in budget cuts -- is being criticized for lack of transparency.

If you go to the so-called super committee's website, they have a calendar for the month of October, but it's totally blank. That doesn't mean the committee isn't meeting though. They're just meeting behind closed doors. 

That means the millions of people who could be affected by their budget cuts have no idea what could be coming down the pike. Critics are calling on the committee to do more of its work in public. 

One committee member, Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D), says Congress is so partisan that working in secret creates space for the 12 committee members to negotiate openly. 

"In this polarized environment, I think it's important to have some opportunity for members to have an exchange of views," he says. The committee has until Thanksgiving to unveil its proposal to slash more than $1 trillion from the national debt. 

 

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