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The Senate’s opportunity to reduce the deficit

It should support a bipartisan commission to secure the country’s fiscal future.

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One message from the Massachusetts election shake-up is that the federal deficit is a higher priority for voters than healthcare. Sixty-one percent of Republican Scott Brown’s supporters thought so, and sent him to the US Senate to say so. But the Senate doesn’t have to wait until Mr. Brown takes his seat. It has an opportunity to heed voters now.

On Tuesday, the Senate is expected to vote on a bill that creates an independent commission to help secure the federal government’s fiscal future. Like the blue-ribbon panel that pinpointed which US military bases to close, the fiscal commission would look at the politically charged subject of how to cut mounting federal deficits that may end up as a drag on the economy. 

Like the military commission, this one – if it passes Congress – would require lawmakers to vote up or down on its entire package of recommendations.

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