Bowing to the concerns of senators of both political parties, President Obama has endorsed legislation that would create a bipartisan commission to develop a plan to address the nation's soaring budget deficits. A vote is expected Tuesday in the U.S. Senate to create a statutory deficit-reduction commission. Sixty votes would be needed in the Senate.
It's too soon to know if such a measure could pass the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has resisted the idea of permitting such a body to dictate tax hikes or spending cuts to Congress. Obama's decision to endorse a statutory fiscal commission comes just four days before his inaugural State of the Union speech, in which he is expected to address the fiscal problems.
The deficit reached $1.4 trillion last year and is expected to continue to be at or near that level this fiscal year and into the future.