Super Committee members already fundraising off assignment

WASHINGTON – The so-called “Super Committee” of 12 veteran lawmakers that’s tasked with finding more than $1.2 trillion in long-term deficit cuts is turning into a lucrative affair for some members’ campaign war chests.

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) was named to the panel Thursday by Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Within hours, the Investment Company Institute, which represents the mutual fund industry, sent out an invitation for a fundraiser with Becerra in late August, touting his membership on the panel, according to an invitation given to Minnesota Public Radio News.

“This will be Mr. Becerra’s first event since being named to the commission and may be one of the first for any of the twelve members of the group,” wrote Jim Hart, ICI’s political affairs officer, in the invite.

Attendance at the event includes a suggested $1,500 minimum donation.

Becerra sits on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and was also a member of last year’s Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction panel. He dissented from the panel’s final recommendations, arguing they hurt social programs too much.

The 12 member panel is made up of an equal number of House and Senate Democrats and Republicans. Another pick that’s gotten some scrutiny is Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who’s part of the Senate leadership team but also runs the Senate Democrats’ 2012 campaign efforts.

The Sunlight Foundation notes that other panel members also have fall fundraisers planned, but so far none appears to mention the member’s role with the new deficit reduction committee.

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