Deficit commission votes not to send proposals to Congress

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A commission charged with finding ways to reduce the deficit last week voted against proposals that recommend killing the CLASS Act and increasing the Social Security retirement age.

The commission needed 14 of the panel's 18 members to vote “yes” to send the plan to Congress. Instead, the proposal received 11 “yes” votes from conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) joined Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) in voting in favor of the commission's proposal. Some commission members say the 11 of 18 “aye” votes defied expectations, proving that there are people in Washington who want an “adult conversation” about avoiding a debt crisis, The Associated Press reported.

Besides cutting the CLASS Act, a long-term care insurance program in the healthcare reform law, the proposal also called for a repeal of physician pay cuts through 2014, as well as Medicare and Medicaid cuts. Former White House Chief of Staff Erksine Bowles under President Bill Clinton, and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) chair the commission.