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U.S. deficit panel urges Obama to work on plan

The co-chairs of the U.S. deficit commission urged President Barack Obama Thursday to launch negotiations with Congress early next year on a serious fiscal responsibility plan.

Co-Chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson said they believed a bipartisan agreement aimed at reducing America’s massive debt should be reached before any long-term increase in the U.S. debt limit is approved. Get the full story »

Deficit panel recalibrates, seeks more support

Debt Commission co-chairmen Erskine Bowles, right, and former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A presidential commission trying to balance the budget on Wednesday softened a proposed tax overhaul to win broader support for its bold plan to slash the $1.3 trillion federal deficit.

The plan faced an uphill struggle to win sufficient backing to trigger a congressional vote. Even if that happens, analysts predict Congress won’t take substantive steps to reduce the deficit this year.

Changes made to the plan included dropping a proposal to kill the popular mortgage interest tax deduction, as had been recommended on November 10. The revised version proposed a limited, 12 percent mortgage interest tax credit. Get the full story »