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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 27, 2010

SUB-LEGAL BUDGET COMMISSION AIMED AT SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE FAILS TO PASS SENATE

NY Times - Advocates of more aggressive steps to address the national debt failed in their effort to create a bipartisan commission to press for tax increases and spending cuts, but President Obama now plans to establish a similar panel by executive order . . .

The proposal for a commission died when its supporters could not muster enough votes in the Senate to push it ahead, reflecting unwillingness among many Republicans to back any move toward tax increases and objections among Democrats to the prospect of deep spending cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. While 53 senators voted for the plan and 46 against, it needed 60 votes to be approved under Senate rules.

The alternative panel to be established by Mr. Obama will also come up with recommendations by December to reduce annual budget deficits and slow or reverse the growth of the national debt. But unlike the commission proposal killed by the Senate, Mr. Obama's executive order could not force Congress to vote on a commission's suggestions. . .

The vote on a commission proposal was the price that fiscally conservative senators extracted from Congressional Democratic leaders as the price for their support later this week in a vote to increase the $12 trillion debt limit. Without an increase, the government soon could not borrow to cover its obligations.

The proposal, co-sponsored by Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, the chairman of the Budget Committee, and Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the committee's senior Republican, called for an 18-member commission - eight lawmakers from each party and two administration officials - to draft a package that Congress would have to vote on in December without amending it.

One of the most vocal opponents was Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He said the bill's sponsors had "painted a big red bull's-eye on Social Security," adding, "Their commission is a Social Security-cutting machine."


1 Comments:

Anonymous Brother Ray said...

Baby what'd I say?

January 27, 2010 8:23 PM  

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