By Seth McLaughlin-The Washington Times
Late Thursday,Â Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, announced his opposition, joining one House Democrat, three House Republicans and one ofÂ Mr. Obama‘s appointees, who also are expected to vote against it, leaving the 18-member panel short of the 14 votesÂ Mr. Obama said would be needed to adopt a final report. Also late Thursday,Â Andrew Stern, the former president of theÂ Service Employees International Union, announced his opposition.
Still, a majority is expected to back the blueprint laid out by the panels co-chairmen, former ClintonÂ White House Chief of StaffÂ Erskine Bowlesand formerÂ GOPSen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, to gain control of the country’s finances by imposing unpopular spending cuts and doing away with popular tax breaks.
“We’re at a day of reckoning,” saidÂ Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and commission member, earlier Thursday as he announced his support, along withÂ Sen. Michael D. Crapo, Idaho Republican. “The time for action is now. The threat is real. It’s urgent. We cannot wait for another election. We cannot wait until we get more of what we want.”
As of late Thursday, five ofÂ Mr. Obama‘s six appointees to the commission said they’ll back the final recommendations, as have five senators.
Four House lawmakers are expected to oppose the plan, as well asÂ Mr. Baucus. AndÂ ABC reported Thursday night thatÂ Mr. Obama‘s sixth appointee,Â Mr. Stern, the formerÂ SEIU chief, was expected to oppose the plan.
That leaves two House Democrats as the undecided members, and leaves the commission short of the needed supermajority.
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