Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is appointing three staunch Democrats to the bipartisan super-committee created to tackle the massive national debt.
The Nevada Democrat is expected to name Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., John Kerry, D-Mass., and Max Baucus, D-Mont. to the panel tasked with cutting more than $1.5 trillion from the deficit.
The panel, to be co-chaired by Kerry, will have to make the cuts by Nov. 23.
"More significant to me is who (Reid) didn't pick," observed Keith Hennessey, a longtime former Senate GOP aide. "He didn't pick someone who might have been bipartisan."
Hennessey was making reference to Reid's decision to pass over Senate Democrats who have advocated curbing Social Security and Medicare -- programs that budget experts say will have to be trimmed.
His choices are seen as longtime protectors of those Democratic priorities.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will also name three GOP members to the panel.