Democrats Named to Deficit Panel
A little less than a week after the President signed an Executive Order establishing a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, the Democratic leadership has appointed three Democrats to sit on the Commission. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to appoint any Republicans. The co-chairs of the Commission were named last week; they are former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wy) and former Clinton White House Chief of staff Erskine Bowles.
Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). The Commission will be composed of 18 members: 6 appointed by the President (no more than 4 from the same party); 3 members of the House appointed by the House Speaker; 3 members appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate; 3 members appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate; and 3 members of the House appointed by the Minority Leader of the House.
Click here to find a joint statement on the Commission put together by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Concord Coalition, and the Committee for Economic Development. The statement lays out five keys the groups see as essential for success, including true bipartisanship, a broad mandate, a lack of preconditions, transparency, and finally, the guarentee of a vote in Congress on any recommendations.