The next stage of the deficit reduction debate moved forward last week when House of Representatives and Senate leadership named their appointees to the “Super Committee.” The committee is a 12-member bi-partisan, bi-cameral committee set up by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (passed at the beginning of the month as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling) and charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in debt savings over the next ten years. The Committee has until November 23rd to submit a plan to Congress that includes at least $1.2 trillion in savings. Next both the House and the Senate must vote on the deficit reduction plan by December 23rd, 2011. If any of these steps fail to take place, “triggers” will go into effect, causing as much as $1.2 trillion in across the board cuts (effecting both defense and non-defense spending) starting January 2013. Human needs programs important to the Jewish community, like Medicaid and SNAP, face deep cuts, as does the foreign relations budget. JCPA is putting together a national coalition of Jewish groups to form a working group who will work with the committee to help preserve these vital programs.