The high-level advisory commission on the federal budget deficit probably will miss its self-imposed deadline for producing a plan to reduce the government's red ink, one of the panel's co-chairmen says.
Democrat Robert Strauss says the recommendations from the National Economic Commission may not be delivered to the Bush administration and Congress until March 1 or even later.The commission will hold a full day of hearings on Nov. 16, with Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Green-span heading up a list of big names expected to testify.
This hearing had been billed as a showcase that would launch the panel into a month of intensive deliberations aimed at coming up with a deficit reduction plan by Dec. 21, in time to influence the next administration's first budget submission to Congress.
But Strauss said Tuesday those plans will likely be scrapped in favor of a more leisurely approach to the budget deliberations, if that meets the wishes of President-elect George Bush.
The 12-member commission, created by Congress last December, was viewed by many as offering the best hope of breaking through the seven-year political deadlock over reducing the federal budget deficit.
Supporters hoped the commission would be able to come up with a package of spending cuts and tax increases that would be acceptable to Congress and the next president.
But Bush has already said he will ignore any recommendations for higher taxes to reduce the deficit.