Although so much opposition to President Obama has focused on government spending and debt, this isn't the first time he has publicly stumped for deficit reduction--much of his health care push centered on the deficit-lowering impact of reform.
Despite its deficit-reducing moniker, the idea is opposed by fiscal conservatives.
Ryan Ellis, tax policy director for the Grover Norquist-led group Americans for Tax Reform, refers to the proposal as a "bipartisan tax-raising commission"--voicing the same concern that's surfaced among congressional Republicans: that the deficit-reducing solution would be higher taxes, not less spending.
The proposal was shot down by members of both parties in a 53-46 Senate vote on Jan. 26, falling 17 votes short of the needed 60. The bill, put forward by Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), did get 16 votes from moderate (or retiring) Republicans, and it was opposed by 23 Democrats (including Paul Kirk, who has now been replaced by Republican Scott Brown).
So a big part of the challenge for Obama and Democrats will be getting members of their own party on board with the idea. For the conservatives in the GOP, it's probably a non-starter.
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