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Nelson: Not on the debt super committee, but vows to tackle deficits nonetheless

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson wasn't named to the so-called "super committee" to cut more than $1 trillion in federal spending by year's end. The committee includes his Democratic Senate colleagues Patty Murray, D-Wash, John Kerry, D-Mass., and Max Baucus, D-Mont. They join six House members, plus Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio.

But even though Nelson's not on the panel, he said Wednesday he'll be tackling the deficit nonetheless. He'll do it instead from the Senate Finance Committee’s Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth Subcommittee, which he chairs. Nelson has scheduled a hearing for early September to investigate closing loopholes, which he says will likely generate $2 trillion over the next decade. "Add that to the $2 trillion in spending cuts we’ve made — and we’re in the $4 trillion range that we need to hit," he said Wednesday in an op-ed in Politico

Nelson also called for letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire -– a move most Democrats have embraced. "Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, says the tax cuts for the wealthy should be left to expire," Nelson wrote. "Agree or not, don’t you think most Americans were better off before the tax cuts than they are now? It’s just plain wrong to be protecting tax breaks for oil companies and to be rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas."