FAIL: Fiscal Commission Adjourns Without Holding Official Vote


After weeks of tumultuous negotiations, the White House’s fiscal commission adjourned today without agreement on a controversial plan to reduce deficits by slashing spending and lowering income tax rates.

Recognizing that they’d fail to meet the 14-vote threshold for passage, the 18-member commission ultimately did not take a final vote. However, members announced their positions ahead of today’s final meeting, and in the end a majority — according to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), 11 in total — claimed to support the proposal.Those 11 members include politicians like Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) on opposite ends of political spectrum. But ultimately, enough liberal and conservative members opposed the package to prevent it from winning an automatic up or down vote in the Senate. Those commissioners are: Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Dave Camp (R-MI), Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and former SEIU President Andy Stern.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has agreed to work with the commission’s chairmen, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, to hold a floor vote on the package next Congress. But incoming Speaker John Boehner has thus far refused to make the same commitment.


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at