You will undoubtedly be reading a lot over the next few months about 12 members of Congress who wield extraordinary power over the future of hundreds of federal programs and tax expenditures.

They are the members of the newly created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction charged with identifying at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade. The committee can consider everything from spending cuts to tax reform to accomplish this objective.

The committee has an exacting schedule to make its recommendations and issue a final report to Congress by Nov. 23. Once Congress receives the report, it must come to the House and Senate floors for an up or down vote without amendments by Dec. 23.

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