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The attempt to frame a deficit-cutting plan that can win approval on Capitol Hill follows the report on Dec. 1 of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Those recommendations for cutting and pinching government spending in the face of trillion dollar-plus annual deficits took plenty of hits from the political left and right.
The report was approved 11-7 by the president's panel, but that was three votes short of the 14 needed to guarantee consideration by Congress. The commission called for reductions in defense spending, gradually raising the retirement age for Social Security, rolling back the home mortgage deduction and numerous other cuts bound to offend one special interest or another.
Warner and Chambliss want to use that report as a starting point for what might be legislatively doable on Capitol Hill. It is important, Chambliss said, to get a plan in place next year -- before the onset of the political pressures of the 2012 presidential election campaign. In the meantime, Warner said the informal group has agreed to a "cease-fire on immediately criticizing each other's ideas."
Follow Tom Diemer on Twitter http://twitter.com/tomdiemer
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