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Senate rejects Gregg’s ill-conceived plan to create a deficit commission.

By Zaid Jilani

"Senate rejects Gregg’s ill-conceived plan to create a deficit commission."

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In recent weeks, the country’s financial debt has been in national headlines, and policymakers have been debating ways to eventually close the $1.4 trillion budget deficit. One such solution to the national debt has been proposed by “deficit peacock” Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who wants to create a commission “charged with crafting ways to reduce the country’s long-term deficits.” This afternoon, the Senate voted on Gregg’s commission, and it failed to attain the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster:

greggThe Senate Tuesday rejected a plan to create a tough, powerful commission to recommend ways of slashing the federal debt, but the close vote made it clear that tackling the problem is an urgent priority. [...]

Though the vote to approve the commission plan was 53 to 46, it failed because under Senate rules, 60 votes were needed for passage.

But the majority — which included a rare bipartisan coalition of 37 Democrats and 16 Republicans — of the plan championed by Conrad and Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., sent a signal that lawmakers from both parties want to move quickly to curb spending.

While Gregg claimed that his commission showed his sincerity about “fiscal responsibility,” the senator has repeatedly voted for budget-breaking tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy. President Obama, who supported the commission, is reportedly considering creating a “deficit task force” by executive order in response to the Senate vote. View the roll call of the Senate vote here.

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