Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson to Lead Deficit Commission

Feb 16, 2010 | Budgets & Projections

According to Lori Montgomery:

 Mr. Obama will name former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson as co-chairmen of the commission Thursday when he signs an executive order creating the panel, an administration official said...

The 18-member panel is to include eight Republicans, six named by GOP leaders in Congress and two by the White House. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) will decide whether he will name members after he has seen the details, said spokesman Don Stewart. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R., Ohio) has been more critical...

The executive order, announced during Mr. Obama's State of the Union address, has been delayed as the White House tried to rally support for the panel. Officials say Mr. Obama will move forward for now with or without Republicans...

White House officials hope Mr. Simpson's participation will lend credibility to the effort, officially called the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Mr. Simpson served as a senator from Wyoming from 1979 to 1997 and Senate GOP whip, the second-highest post in leadership, from 1985 to 1995. He served on the Iraq Study Group during the Bush administration, a bipartisan panel named to study options for the Iraq war. Mr. Bowles, currently president of the University of North Carolina, brokered the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 with Republicans in Congress when he was White House chief of staff. He ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2002 and 2004.