Cooper forces vote on Bowles-Simpson plan

The plan of the president's fiscal commission to reduce budget deficits will get a floor vote Friday by virtue of an amendment sponsored by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.).

The fiscal commission's plan, developed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, is the basis of the Gang of Six talks in the Senate, and President Obama on Wednesday moved toward its goals of cutting $4 trillion in deficits in 10 years using two-thirds spending cuts and one-third tax reform.

Cooper has offered the broad outlines of the fiscal commission plan as a substitute amendment to the 2012 budget resolution, authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

"The Cooper Substitute embodies the only bipartisan approach for getting America back on track.  The U.S. federal budget is on an unsustainable path. For years, members have talked about fiscal responsibility. It’s time for those who claim to be fiscally responsible to walk the walk, not just talk the talk," his office states in a fact sheet. 

In the budget committee mark-up of the 2012 resolution, Blue Dog Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) offered the outlines of the Bowles-Simpson plan as an amendment. It got two votes but 13 Democrats voted "present."