Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-05), author of a commission to tackle the nation's debt, applauded President Obama's selection of co-chairs for a deficit reduction commission. The President is expected to announce Thursday that the bipartisan co-chairs of the commission include former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) and Erskine Bowles, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff. Cooper first proposed a commission with Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA). Cooper-Wolf, H.R. 1557, currently has 114 bipartisan cosponsors.
"When we first proposed a fiscal commission three years ago, we agreed that everything has to be on the table. The President must have credible co-chairs so that everyone, including Republicans, will be on board. Senator Simpson is a real deal conservative and well-respected by current GOP leadership. And Erskine Bowles will bring a lifetime of leadership in business and government. This is a major step toward getting the government's finances under control."
Cooper said a fiscal commission has the best chance to bring sustainability to our nation's long-term fiscal outlook. The Senate companion bill to Cooper-Wolf, sponsored by Senators Conrad and Gregg, received 53 of the 60 votes necessary for passage earlier this month. Seven of the bill's Republican cosponsors decided to vote "No." In the wake of that vote, the President chose to proceed in creating a commission to reduce the deficit by executive order.