Feb. 8, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Despite Protests, Super Committee Is Up and Running

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

“Some of us were dressed up as billionaires,” CodePink spokeswoman Medea Benjamin said of the 15 or so protesters, a few of whom were wearing pink formal dresses and top hats.

James Adams, a spokesman for OurDC, said that his group's protest was separate from CodePink's and that the two groups are not affiliated.

After the protest was disbanded, the proceedings continued with little drama and much optimism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The committee members sat alternately by party within their own chamber.

Democratic Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Xavier Becerra (Calif.), James Clyburn (S.C.); Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Max Baucus (Mont.) and John Kerry (Mass.) as well as Republican Reps. Hensarling, Camp, Fred Upton (Mich) and Republican Sens. Portman, Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.) all delivered opening remarks. Murray serves as committee co-chairwoman.

Each Member seemed very careful to outline their policy beliefs while still appearing open to compromise, knowing that if they fail, they will trigger across-the-board spending cuts to both defense and other discretionary programs.

“While none of us will ever set aside or betray our principles, we must keep in mind there is much more that binds us as Americans than divides us, and we must all be open to compromise and to the ideas and viewpoints of others,” Murray said. “That’s why I have been so glad that as we have gotten this process off the ground over the last few weeks, committee members have refrained from drawing lines in the sand or carving out areas that can’t be touched.”

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