The President’s bipartisan fiscal commission faces a deadline Wednesday to make recommendations to Congress on how to cut deficits in the next few years and also deal with long-term structural problems in the federal budget.
President Obama created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in February after congressional efforts to set up a similar bipartisan panel failed. Formal recommendations require support from 14 of the 18 commission members, a steep requirement that many observers have said would be difficult to meet.
Earlier this month Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of the commission, released draft proposals that Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert Bixby praised as “a valuable and sobering fiscal reality check.”
Concord has challenged critics of proposals such as those in the Bowles-Simpson plan to specify what alternatives they would recommend.
On Monday Obama announced plans to freeze pay for executive-branch civilian employees for two years. Pay-freeze proposals have previously been suggested by Simpson and Bowles as well as House Republicans.External links:President's Fiscal CommissionWhite House Fact Sheet on Pay Freeze