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GOP wants voters to get a look at recommendations to cut deficit

By Lori Montgomery
House Republican leader John Boehner called Wednesday for President Obama's new bipartisan deficit-reduction commission to issue its recommendations by Oct. 1 so potentially painful decisions about raising taxes and cutting spending can be vetted by the voters.

In a letter to the commission's co-chairs, Boehner (R-Ohio) also urged that all of the commission's meetings be open to the public, adding that their response could affect his decision about which House Republicans to appoint to the 18-member panel.

"If we're going to have a commission like this, it should be a commission that will work in the transparent, open and accountable way that the American people deserve," Boehner said in a statement.

Kenneth Baer, a spokesman for the White House budget office, said the administration has no plans to change the date of the commission's report, but that the commission would abide by federal laws governing open meetings.

So far, Republicans have not named anyone to the six seats Obama reserved for them on the panel. White House officials and budget experts across Washington are anxiously waiting to see whether Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will choose people willing to work toward a solution to the nation's budget problems or appoint members more interested in accusing the presidentially created commission of trying to raise taxes.

Obama formed the commission to try to rein in soaring budget deficits by 2015, and ordered it to issue recommendations by Dec.1, just after the elections. Budget experts say that timetable makes sense, because the commission otherwise risks having its work politicized during the campaign season.

It is unclear when the panel will begin its work. While Obama has named all six of his picks, including co-chairmen Alan K. Simpson, a former GOP senator, and Erskine Bowles, White House chief of staff during the Clinton administration, is still waiting for House Democrats to appoint three members, as well as Republicans in both chambers.

By Lori Montgomery  |  March 3, 2010; 3:43 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Where was all this GOP concern about the deficit when Bush and his Republican cohorts were throwing away the Clinton Administration budget surplus and then started their defict?

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | March 3, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Make sure the deficit containment analysis starts in year 2001, the starting year of the current deficit explosion and the beginning of the Great Depression of 2008.

Posted by: MrZ2 | March 3, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

If Boehner and the rest of his henchmen were serious about arriving at a solution to the budget problem, they would have developed a work group in Congress to do just that. He refused, and now he wants the commission to hurry up and make its findings available for politicalization in November. Grow up - Congress gets paid to make the tough decisions, not punt them off to a separate group to be blown off if found unpalatable.


Posted by: A_Reader | March 3, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

obama has shown that he does not care for America's citizens...
so any cuts will be in social security and medicare...
are blacks being given more benefits than everybody else...
is America being taken to the cleaners by obama...

Posted by: DwightCollins | March 3, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

knjincvc wrote: "No need to wait, first and foremost ... cut the BLOATED MILITARY BUDGET."

Agreed. Do we really need the largest military budget ever in 2010?

Face it:
--the Soviets are not going to attack West Germany after all
--cheap drones work better than $83M EACH fighter jets
--Carrier Task Force=slow fat target

We can cut the corporate welfare now.

Posted by: saunded | March 3, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

First you vote against the panel, then you don't even name anybody to the commission, yet you have the audacity to claim you to push up the date of the commission's recommendations. Stop being jackasses.

Posted by: onifadee | March 3, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

No need to wait, first and foremost ... cut the BLOATED MILITARY BUDGET.

Posted by: knjincvc | March 3, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

This is the President's commission. Congress and the Senate could have had their own but the Republicans like Mitch did not support it. Where was the deficit commission under Bush?

Posted by: chucko2 | March 3, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Political grandstanding, nothing more.

Posted by: jmdziuban1 | March 3, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

And while we are going to discuss Republican plans for the deficit, perhaps we can ask the media, and in particular the Washington Post, to report the source of said deficits - Bush tax cuts for the rich, unfunded illegal wars, deals with big pharma as part of Medicare Part D? Or perhaps we could discuss how Ronald Reagan exploded the deficit? It is long past time for the media to give the Republicans a pass on this rank hypocrisy.

Posted by: pblotto | March 3, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

do you guys ever do anything more than act as a soap box for GOP Talking Points to get a good airing? I've never seen an out of power party's political agenda being given so much uncritical credence. Boehner must have you guys on speed-dial

Posted by: hohandy1 | March 3, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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