The Corner

Simpson-Bowles To Release Final Deficit Report

In a matter of moments, actually. What’s changed from the draft version? WaPo had an advance copy and report:

In deference to [the Left’s]concerns, Bowles and Simpson have strengthened protections for workers who might find it difficult to delay retirement, such as those in physically demanding careers such as nursing, according to sources with knowledge of the document. They have also made deeper cuts in discretionary spending to satisfy Republican demands.

Otherwise, the new plan looks much like the old one. “You’ll recognize a lot of it,” said Bruce Reed, the panel’s executive director.

That sounds, more or less, like the same great(ish) taste, now with more fiber. But getting the approval of 14 of the 18 panel members is still an uphill battle, and the co-chairmen have delayed a final vote on the proposal until at least Friday in the hopes of doing some last-minute arm twisting.

More here. Meanwhile, the Times reports that none — none — of the 12 lawmakers on the panel have yet signed on. That includes Republicans and Democrats:

Among the lawmakers, the Republicans generally oppose the chairmen’s draft plan because of its tax increases for upper-income Americans. The elected Republicans on the panel are Senators Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Michael D. Crapo of Idaho, and Representatives Dave Camp of Michigan, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Jeb Hensarling of Texas.

The elected Democrats on the commission are resisting the scale of proposed reductions from future health care and Social Security programs, according to people familiar with the discussions. Those Democrats are Senators Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Max Baucus of Montana and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Representatives Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Xavier Becerra of California, and John M. Spratt Jr. of South Carolina.

While the three House Republicans are said by people involved in the deliberations to be unbending in their opposition to the blueprint developed by the chairmen, the three Senate Republicans are not. Similarly, except for Ms. Schakowsky, the Democratic House and Senate members are said to be still negotiating with one another and the chairmen toward some compromise.

Daniel FosterDaniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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