Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, who chair Obama's commission on reducing the national debt, delay a key vote. It's an indication how elusive consensus will be on cutting the deficit.
Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor
The co-chairmen of President Obama's fiscal commission have agreed to a bold plan to slash federal deficits and put America's fiscal house in order. The problem is they're not sure if the rest of the bipartisan commission – let alone Congress – will sign on.
Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson said Tuesday that a final set of recommendations is ready for the full commission to review. They said the deadline for a vote by the 18-member body is shifting to Friday, rather than Wednesday, however, to give members time to review the proposal.
"We'll get somewhere between two and 14 votes," said Mr. Bowles, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Two is a reference to himself and Mr. Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming. Fourteen refers to the number of commission members who must approve the package of spending cuts and tax reforms in order to formally issue a final report to the president.
Ahead of the delayed vote, Bowles also sought to frame the panel's work as a success whatever the outcome.