Obama on US budget deficit

February 17, 2010 12:00 am

, WASHINGTON, Feb 17 – US President Barack Obama will Thursday sign an executive order establishing a bipartisan commission to find ways to reduce the gaping US budget deficit, a White House official said.

Obama has chosen Democrat Erskine Bowles, White House chief of staff for ex-president Bill Clinton, and former Republican senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming to head the panel, the official said.

The president has repeatedly complained that plans for a congressionally mandated fiscal commission were killed in the Senate — by Republicans who had previously backed the idea as a way of trimming huge US deficits.

"Unfortunately this proposal — which received the support of a bipartisan majority in the Senate — was recently blocked," the president said in his radio and YouTube address to Americans on Saturday.

"So, I will be creating this commission by executive order."

The congressionally-appointed commission would have had more teeth and the power to force lawmakers to vote on its recommendations.

The Obama administration acknowledged earlier this month that the budget deficit will swell to a record 1.556 trillion dollars in fiscal 2010.


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