Whitehouse in on Liberal Alternative to Deficit Plan

 From the Huffington Post:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) met with labor unions, seniors organizations, and liberal members of Congress Thursday afternoon to develop an alternative proposal to the deficit commission's draft report released last week.

The meeting included Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Lynne Woolsey (D-Calif.), as well as groups such as the AFL-CIO, Campaign For America's Future and Social Security Works.

The Vermont Independent hopes to eliminate Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthy, tax credits for big oil companies, and Cold War-era Pentagon programs, among other things.

Jan Schakowsky, herself a member of President Obama's deficit commission, announced her own proposal to cut nearly $430 billion from the deficit by reducing various corporate tax breaks and sharply cutting defense spending.

Sanders said he thinks Schakowsky is moving in "exactly the right direction" but suggested that consensus on an alternative progressive plan remains elusive.

"There may be a little bit of disagreement here and there among the groups that we met with today," said Sanders, noting that three for four different groups are working on separate proposals. "But the important point now is to mobilize ordinary people... I think the vast majority of the American people agree with what we're trying to do in that room."

Fourteen of the deficit commission's 18 members must agree on a proposal by Dec 1 before it can proceed to Congress for a vote, something that looks increasingly unlikely to happen.


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