Obama Endorses Bill to Create Independent Fiscal Commission

Posted January 23, 2010 at 4:46pm

President Barack Obama Saturday evening endorsed a controversial bill proposed by Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) — the chairman and ranking member of the Budget Committee, respectively — to create an independent fiscal commission to figure out how to slow the growth of federal deficits.

“These deficits did not happen overnight, and they won’t be solved overnight,— Obama said in a statement. “We not only need to change how we pay for policies, but we also need to change how Washington works. The only way to solve our long-term fiscal challenge is to solve it together — Democrats and Republicans.—

The idea of a fiscal commission has worried progressive groups, who fear it would create a back-door pathway for significant cuts in social programs.

Conservative groups have voiced the opposite concern: that the commission could be a back-door pathway to raising taxes without public input. 

But Obama defended the idea of an independent commission. “With tough choices made together, a commitment to pay for what we spend, and responsible stewardship of our economy, we will be able to lay the foundation for sustainable job creation and economic growth while restoring fiscal sustainability to our nation.—