The House voted today on the Reid motion to raise the debt ceiling (yes, before the Senate voted for it. Don’t ask). It looks like the they substituted the text of a bill introduced by David Drier on the 28th with the text of the bill Reid filed cloture on last night in the Senate.
Reid, McConnell, Pelosi and Boehner each appoint 3 people to the commission, which requires a simple majority to approve legislative language. Reid and Boehner each appoint a co-chair.
From the text of the legislation (my emphasis):
GOAL: The goal of the joint committee shall be to reduce the deficit to 3 percent or less of GDP.
APPROVAL OF REPORT AND LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE- The report of the joint committee and the proposed legislative language described in clause (i) shall require the approval of not fewer than 7 of the 12 members of the joint committee.
TRANSMISSION OF REPORT AND LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE- If the report and legislative language are approved by the joint committee pursuant to clause (ii), then not later than December 2, 2011, the joint committee shall submit the joint committee report and legislative language described in clause (i) to the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the majority and minority leaders of both Houses.
CONSIDERATION- The joint committee bill shall be considered as read. All points of order against the joint committee bill and against its consideration are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint committee bill to its passage without intervening motion except 2 hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent and one motion to limit debate on the joint committee bill. A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall not be in order.
VOTE ON PASSAGE- The vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall occur not later than December 23, 2011.
CONSIDERATION- All points of order against the joint committee bill and against consideration of the joint committee bill are waived. Consideration of the joint committee bill and of all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith shall not exceed a total of 30 hours which shall be divided equally between the majority and minority leaders or their designees. A motion further to limit debate on the joint committee bill is in order, shall require an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members duly chosen and sworn, and is not debatable. Any debatable motion or appeal is debatable for not to exceed 1 hour, to be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the motion or appeal. All time used for consideration of the joint committee bill, including time used for quorum calls and voting, shall be counted against the total 30 hours of consideration.
NO AMENDMENTS- An amendment to the joint committee bill, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the joint committee bill, is not in order.
VOTE ON PASSAGE- If the Senate has voted to proceed to the joint committee bill, the vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall occur immediately following the conclusion of the debate on a joint committee bill, and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate if requested. The vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall occur not later than December 23, 2011.
RULINGS OF THE CHAIR ON PROCEDURE- Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules of the Senate, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to a joint committee bill shall be decided without debate.
According to the New York Times, if the committee cannot make recommendations that will achieve its goals, the trigger they are talking about is “a different measure of inflation would be used to calculate the annual cost-of-living adjustment in Social Security benefits” — chained CPI, apparently.