President Obama's fiscal commission voted to reject a deficit panel's cost-cutting measures that would have slashed nearly $4 trillion in deficit spending over the next nine years, and reduced the federal debt to 40 percent of gross domestic product by 2035.
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid vowed to bring the recommendations to the House and Senate floors, but only if 14 of the commission's 18 members approved them. The final vote was 11-7, meaning the measures fell three votes short.
The votes against included bi-partisan opposition. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) as well as Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), David Camp (R-Mich.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) all voted against the plan. They were joined by former SEIU president Andy Stern.
Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), and Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) voted “yes," along with former Republican senator from Wyoming Alan Simpson and former Bill Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles.
“A strong bipartisan coalition has already voted for this plan,” Bowles, who chairs the panel, said.
According to The Hill, Crapo agreed, saying the lack of votes “should not be an indication that there is not powerful support behind this plan,” and noting that 60 percent of panelists voted in favor of it. He also said that Ryan, future chair of the House Budget Committee, has committed to use much of the plan in coming up with a budget resolution next year.