* Pelosi names Democrats Van Hollen, Becerra, Clyburn
* Republican Camp says he won't rule out tax increases
* "We must achieve a 'grand bargain'" - Pelosi
By Richard Cowan and Donna Smith
WASHINGTON, Aug 11 Democrats named three loyal
party lieutenants to a U.S. deficit reduction "super committee"
on Thursday, charting what could be a path to partisan deadlock
with all 12 members now appointed.
Representatives Chris Van Hollen, Xavier Becerra and James
Clyburn -- all veterans drawn from leadership -- were appointed
by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Markets have been looking for signs that a wide deal on tax
or entitlement reform might emerge from the panel, but it is
under time constraints -- it must report recommendations by
Nov. 23 -- and most of its members are party loyalists.
In the fight over the federal deficit, Democrats have dug
in to resist cuts in spending for big social programs, such as
Medicare and Medicaid, while Republicans have so far refused to
consider any tax increases to raise new government revenues.
Lawmakers battled from these entrenched positions for more
than three months before agreeing on Aug. 2 to raise the debt
ceiling, avoiding a U.S. default, and creating the panel, known
as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
It must find $1.5 trillion in additional budget savings
over 10 years and issue recommendations before Thanksgiving.
Those savings can include spending and tax measures.
INTERVIEW-Camp won't rule out tax hikes [ID:nN1E77A0VQ]
BREAKINGVIEWS-Panel already poisoned [ID:nN1E77A0OH]
FACTBOX-U.S. deficit committee members [ID:nN1E7721BX]
FACTBOX-Tax breaks on reform hit list [ID:nN1E7701SV]
Reuters Insider TV link.reuters.com/kek23s
Congress must vote on the recommendations, on an up-or-down
basis with no amendments, by Dec. 23. If either of the two
deadlines goes unmet, $1.2 trillion in automatic budget cuts
will be triggered in 2013 -- a prospect expected to motivate
lawmakers to make something meaningful out of the committee.
Republicans on Wednesday named mostly no-new-taxes
hardliners to the super committee, although one of them,
Representative Dave Camp, said on Thursday that he would not
rule out tax increases if they could boost economic growth.
Camp, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means
Committee, said in a Reuters interview that the deepening
global financial crisis would prompt him and other committee
members to pull together. [ID:nN1E77A0VQ]
"I don't want to rule anything in or out," Camp said. "I am
willing to discuss all issues that might help us reduce our
short and long-term debt and grow our economy."
Camp will be joined on the panel by fellow House
Republicans Fred Upton and Jeb Hensarling, who will be
co-chair. Senate Republicans named on Wednesday were Jon Kyl,
Rob Portman and Patrick Toomey, a favorite of the conservative
Tea Party movement.
The other co-chair will be Democratic Senator Patty Murray.
Two other Senate Democratic members are John Kerry and Max
Baucus, chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.
Clyburn is the No. 3 House Democrat. Becerra is also a
leadership official. Van Hollen is the top Democrat on the
House Budget Committee and former chairman of the House
Democratic Campaign Committee. All are close Pelosi allies.
In announcing her three picks, Pelosi said, "We must
achieve a 'grand bargain' that reduces the deficit by
addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare,
Medicaid and Social Security."
All six of the Republicans on the panel are known as
opponents of tax increases, some more than others.
"We can't have great confidence that we're going to get a
'grand bargain' but the option is there and I think the
opportunity is there," said Norm Ornstein, a fellow at the
conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute.
"The one thing that may provide an impetus now is forces
beyond the control of members of Congress and what's occurring
on the ground. From the riots in England to the extraordinarily
shaky state of Europe with serious problems in Italy, Portugal,
Spain ... we really do have the possibility of a global
depression. And if that isn't enough to jolt people out of
their ideological positions, maybe nothing is.
(Writing by Kevin Drawbaugh, Editing by Howard Goller and