Blue Dogs want WH debt panel to end deficits in 10 years

President Barack Obama is asking the bipartisan commission to produce a plan that reduces a deficit expected to be about 10 percent of gross domestic product down to 3 percent by 2015.

Blue Dogs said they shared that goal, but they also want deficits eliminated in 10 years.

In their letter, the Blue Dog leaders acknowledged that the commission's work would be "extraordinary difficult."

Obama wants the panel to produce a final report with policy recommendations in December. The recommendations must have approval of 14 of the commission's 18 members to make it in the final report, which Democratic leaders in Congress have pledged to bring up for floor votes.

Six of the members are GOP lawmakers, six are Democratic members and six are selections by Obama. The group is expected to consider changes to tax, spending and entitlement policies as they try to find savings.

The Blue Dogs who signed the letter were Reps. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).

They urged the White House panel to "engage the public," partly by having C-SPAN broadcast parts of its meetings. They also called on the panel's members to "consider all options" and "set politics aside" in trying to come up with a fiscal plan.

"The fiscal commission's recommendations should, at a minimum, create the foundation for future congressional action, reforming our budget processes where appropriate, and be accompanied by statutory fiscal controls," the Blue Dogs wrote.

The commission is scheduled to have its first meeting on Tuesday.