Top Budget Republican says he can back fiscal panel's proposals

A key Republican member of President Obama's fiscal commission said Wednesday that he could support the panel's final proposals.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), the top GOP member of the Senate Budget Committee, said that despite the report's flaws, it represents maybe the best attempt at reducing the deficit and debt.

"It is," Gregg said on Bloomberg Television when asked if the commission's final report, due this morning, was something he could support.

"It's got some warts to say the least, but no one's going to get everything they want," he said. "This is the right step; it's time to govern."

Gregg's support means at least one commissioner of the panel President Obama had assembled would back the final proposal. But the commission's bipartisan co-chairmen have all but said outright that getting the 14 votes necessary to approve the final recommendations and send them to Congress would be difficult.

The proposals include measures to significantly cut spending, including through reforms of Social Security, along with measures to raise revenues. Liberal Democrats have protested the changes to Social Security, and Republicans are seen as unlikely to sign onto any proposal remotely resembling a tax hike.

"It`s a big ask to get 14 out of 18, as you know from your years on Capitol Hill, and particularly when you look at the partisan breakdown here," cautioned Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, last night on MSNBC. "It doesn't take many people to make this deal fall apart."

With other members of the commission talking down aspects of the plan, supporters of the final report have sought to downplay the outcome of the panel's vote, which is slated for Congres.

"I'm almost of the opinion that the vote doesn't matter that much," Gregg said.