BY ROBERT PEAR
The New York Times
October 10, 2011
WASHINGTON — On one crucial point, a powerful Congressional committee seeking ways to reduce the federal budget deficit has managed to produce a rare bipartisan consensus: Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives in and out of Congress say the panel is doing too much of its work in secret.
Moreover, they say, the secrecy could make it more difficult for the 12-member panel to win acceptance for its recommendations from the public and from other members of Congress.
Some lobbyists for military contractors expressed similar frustration. “The super committee and its staff are being very guarded, holding their meetings and deliberations behind closed doors,” said Cord A. Sterling, vice president of the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group. He said he had met with one panel member, Representative James E. Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina.
The industry has employees in every Congressional district and is encouraging them to lobby lawmakers who will eventually vote on the panel’s recommendations.
“Decisions of the super committee will affect what weapons systems we build, what research is conducted, what factories are kept open, what people we employ and how many people we have to lay off,” said Michael H. Herson, president of American Defense International (ADI), a lobbying firm.