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How vulnerable will deficit 'super committee' be to pressure from lobbyists?

With the sweep of the deficit committee's mandate potentially covering every dollar taxed or spent in the federal government, Washington’s lobby community is going on full alert.

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For the next three months, the focus in Washington shifts to the work of 12 lawmakers tasked by Congress with coming up with ways to reduce the US deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. Their recommendations are due by Thanksgiving.

With the sweep of their mandate potentially covering every dollar taxed or spent in the federal government, Washington’s lobby community is going on full alert to analyze every rumor, leak, and draft of potential cuts that begins to circulate.

But for now, speculation centers on the 12 individuals appointed by congressional leaders to do the work on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

All are veteran lawmakers, many with budget experience. Five are members of leadership in their respective caucuses; most of the others are close to leadership. None is a member of a tea party caucus.

Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R) of Texas are the cochairs.

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