What sets the new budget panel apart?

Jeremy Hobson Feb 17, 2010
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What sets the new budget panel apart?

Jeremy Hobson Feb 17, 2010
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bill Radke: President Obama is set to sign an executive order tomorrow creating a bipartisan panel to recommend ways to reduce the deficit. For more on this now, we’re joined live from New York City by Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson. Hey Jeremy.

Jeremy Hobson: Morning, Bill.

Radke: Who’s going to be on this deficit-hacking body?

Hobson: Well, there will be 18 members, it’ll be chaired by two very well-respected people who know Washington very well. One is former Republican Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming, he’s a fiscal conservative known to work across party lines. Democrat Erskin Bowles is the other, he was the White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton, and he negotiated, or helped negotiate, legislation with Republicans in 1997 that led to the balancing of the budget back then.

Radke: Jeremy, Congress tried to create a budget commission earlier this month and failed. What’s different about this one?

Hobson: Well, this one would not have teeth as sharp as the one that failed to get through Congress, because Congress would have had to vote up or down on the recommendations of that deficit reduction panel. This one will be able to make recommendations, but it’ll be up to the public to pressure Congress to vote on them. But President Obama did make the case in his weekly address a few days ago that this is still the best option to deal with the deficit:

President Barack Obama: Solving our fiscal challenge, so many years in the making, will take both parties coming together, putting politics aside and making some hard choices about what we need to spend and what we don’t.

And by the way, Bill, the deficit is expected to reach $1.6 trillion this year.

Radke: Yeah. Thanks for reminding us. Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson in New York, thank you.

Hobson: Thanks.

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