An austere deficit-cutting plan by President Obama's budget commission has failed to win the supermajority required to force a quick vote in Congress. The plan won support from 11 of 18 commission members, however, more than expected just a few weeks ago. As a result, it could shape the coming debate. Fourteen were needed for official approval. The plan would cut $4 trillion from the budget over the coming decade through a combination of curbs to Social Security, tax increases, and a slew of other spending cuts.
Commission co-chair Erskine Bowles declared victory, nevertheless. He said the panel's nonpartisan deliberations showed it's possible to have an "adult conversation" about cutting the deficit. Earlier, Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, one of Obama's closest allies in the Senate, said he would vote for the plan even though he has major qualms about its painful spending cuts.