01 June 2010

The President's Fiscal Commission: The Players

Here Are the Nuts & Bolts

The commission has 18 members, 6 appointed by the President, 3 appointed by the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 3 appointed by Senate Minority Leaders Mitch McConnell, 3 appointed by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and 3 appointed by the House Minority Leader John Boehner.  Additionally, Democratic Leadership Council CEO Bruce Reed was recently appointed to serve as the executive director of the commission.

The President's Appointees:  Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union; Dave Cote, a Republican executive who is head of Honeywell; Ann Fudge, a former executive at several corporations; Alice Rivlin, a former vice chair of the Federal Reserve and director of both the Congressional Budget Office and President Clinton's White House budget office, former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Senate  Whip Alan Simpson.  Bowles and Simpson serve as co-chairs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Appointees: Kent Conrad of North Dakota; Max Baucus of Montana; and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois.

Senate Minority Leaders Mitch McConnell's Appointees: Tom Coburn of Oklahoma; Judd Gregg of New Hampshire; and Michael Crappo of Idaho.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's Appointees: John Spratt Jr. of South Carolina; Xavier Becerra of California, and Jan Schakowsy of Illinois.

House Minority Leader John Boehner's Appointees: Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Dave Camp of Michigan, and Jeb Hensarling of Texas.

  • The Commission's task is to put forth recommendations to (1) reduce annual deficits to 3% of the national economy by 2015 and (2) improve the the long-run fiscal outlook, including changes to address the growth of entitlement spending.
  • The Commission must vote on a final report containing a set of recommendations no later than December 1, 2010.  This report have the approval of 14 of the 18 members for its adoption by the Commission. Blocking cuts to Social Security and Medicare thus requires 5 commissioners.
  • If the final report is adopted by the commission, Senate Majority Leader Reid has promised to give the recommendations an up or down vote by year's end.
  • Should that occur, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will then cause a vote on the Senate's recommendations by the end of the year.
  • The commission will dissolve 30-days after submitting it final report. 
Tomorrow:  The things you need to do to protect Social Security and Medicare.

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