Sen. Portman: Voters flooding me with ideas for cutting the deficit

Deficit supercommittee member Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says he has received more than 3,000 suggestions for how to reduce the deficit through his website, and says he is looking at them as possibilities to raise when the committee gets to work later this month.

"We are taking them seriously, passing them along, sometimes to other committees," Portman said in an interview with Ohio's Community Press. "Some people have written in about energy policy or healthcare. I think it'll be very helpful."

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Portman is seeking comments through a page on his website, which allows anyone to post a suggestion for how the deficit-cutting committee should seek to cut $1.5 trillion in planned spending over the next decade. 

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has also set up a electronic suggestion page, although he said that page is only intended for Montanans to use.

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In his interview with the Community Press, Portman downplayed the idea that the Americans for Tax Reform pledge that many Republicans signed, committing them to oppose new tax increases, will act as a hurdle to the deficit committee's work.

"I think sometimes it's missed, that the commitment that members have made... is not to impose net new tax burdens on the economy," he said. "So it does not preclude reforming the tax code."

-- This story was updated at 1:32 p.m. to correct Portman's last quote on tax reform.