Deficit Commission Seals Majority, but Will Probably Come Up Short

By Derek Thompson

A majority of officials on the president's deficit commission will support the bold budget plan now that ten of the commission's 18 members have committed to vote yes on the proposal. Sen. Dick Durbin is the latest member to commit to supporting the plan to raise taxes, cut spending, and reform entitlements.

But with five members now committed to voting against the proposal, the commission, which requires a super-majority of 14 to send its report to Congress for a vote, will almost certainly come up short to produce a bill.

The members voting no (with reasons in parentheses) are: GOP Rep. Paul Ryan (too incremental health care changes), GOP Rep. Dave Camp (tax increases), Andy Stern (spending cuts), Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Social Security benefit cuts), and Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (harsh effect on rural America).

The deficit commission is made up of six non-elected presidential appointees, six elected Republicans and six elected Democrats, divided evenly between House and Senate. Here's your unofficial tally as of 10:00PM Thursday night (we're at 10 yes to 5 no):

President's Appointees
Alan Simpson (co-chair; fmr. U.S. Senator) -- Yes
Erskine Bowles (co-chair; fmr. White House Chief of Staff) -- Yes
Dave M. Cote (Honeywell International) -- Yes
Alice Rivlin (Brookings Institution; fmr. director CBO and OMB and Fed vice chair) -- Yes
Ann M. Fudge (fmr. CEO Young & Rubicam Brands) -- Yes
Andy Stern (fmr. president of Service Employees International Union) -- No

House Republicans
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) -- No
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) -- Leaning No/Undecided
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Michigan) -- No

House Democrats
Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) -- Undecided
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) -- Undecided
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) -- No

Senate Republicans
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire) -- Yes
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) -- Yes
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) -- Yes

Senate Democrats
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) -- Yes
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) -- Yes
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) -- No

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/12/deficit-commission-seals-majority-but-will-probably-come-up-short/67427/