Sen. Patty Murray (above) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling announced Mark Prater will serve as staff director for the new supercommittee.
A top Republican aide on the Senate Finance Committee has been named the staff director for the bipartisan Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who co-chair the panel, announced Tuesday in a joint statement that Mark Prater will serve as staff director. Prater is the deputy staff director and chief tax counsel for the minority Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, under ranking member Orrin Hatch (Utah).
“The know-how and experience Mark brings to this difficult task is exactly what we agreed must be the top priority for the staff serving all the members of this Committee,” Murray and Hensarling said in the statement. “Mark has a well-earned reputation for being a workhorse who members of both parties have relied on. We look forward to working with him and are confident that his approach and expertise will be valuable as we weigh the difficult but necessary choices ahead.”
Prater has spent more than 20 years working for almost every top Republican on the panel. He has degrees in accounting, law and taxation.
"If anyone knows how to create a fair, balanced solution that can make everyone a winner in a difficult situation like this, it's Mark Prater," one Democratic aide said.
Prater has worked on major bipartisan initiatives such as the 2007 Children's Health Insurance Program bill and the 1997 balanced budget deal.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, along with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, right, and Annette Tilleman-Dick, left, wife for former Rep. Tom Lanots, D-Calif. Clinton was honored with the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize during a ceremony last week at the Cannon House Office Building. Previous winners include the Dalai Lama and Elie Wiesel.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.