Obama Moves Forward on Debt Commission

Names Simpson, Bowles co-chairs in spite of GOP protests
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2010 8:51 AM CST
Former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson, co-chair of the debt commission, speaks during a dedication ceremony on the University of Wyoming campus Thursday September 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/Laramie Boomerang, Andy Carpenean)
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(Newser) – Ignoring GOP resistance, President Obama is moving ahead with plans for a commission to bring down the federal debt. Obama will tomorrow name Clinton White House vet Erskine Bowles and former Republican Senate Whip Alan Simpson to co-chair the panel, which will seek to knock the federal debt down from its current 10% of GDP to 3% by 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Republicans say they haven't been consulted on the mandate or composition of the panel Obama will sign tomorrow. The commission is to review soaring government spending and the tax code, and the solutions it weighs could include middle-income tax hikes. House GOP leaders have said they won't take part without upfront spending-cut commitments. "Blue-ribbon commissions are fine and dandy, but we're still waiting for a response from the president on our proposal to start cutting spending right now," says a spokesman for John Boehner.
(Read more national debt stories.)

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