By Michael O'Brien - 11/30/10 08:53 PM EST
President Obama's fiscal commission will vote Friday on recommendations to slash the U.S. deficits and debt.
The co-chairmen of the group Obama established earlier this year to examine the U.S. fiscal situation promised to come up with proposals similar to what they'd offered in a preliminary draft earlier this month. They said they are prepared for a rocky reception from members of both parties.
"The era of deficit denial in Washington is over," said Erskine Bowles, the commission's Democratic co-chairman. "The plan we submit tomorrow ... it's not going to be some watered down version of the chairman's mark."
The commission is set to formally unveil its recommendations Wednesday after months of meetings and deliberation. While the report will be released on Wednesday, commissioners won't vote on the proposals until Friday.
Both Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (Wyo.), the GOP co-chairman, sought to lower expectations as to whether the report would get the 14 of 18 votes necessary to formally send the recommendations to Congress, where leaders have promised it a vote if there's consensus.
"We haven't been on our knees," Simpson said. "If we get two votes, we get two votes."
The chairmen released an initial draft of their own proposals, which was met with poor reception, especially by liberal Democrats. That report called for changes to Social Security benefits, including a higher retirement age, prompting Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and labor leaders to label the proposal as unacceptable.
Republicans, meanwhile, have been cool to the draft proposal's new revenue-raising measures. The president has urged lawmakers to keep their powder dry until the final proposals are released.
Bowles and Simpson said the input they have received from commission members since they released their draft has been valuable.
"We think they have made this plan stronger," Bowles said. "I don't know if we're going to get two votes or five votes or 10 votes or 14 votes."