Lawmakers give suggestions to debt panel

They also voiced concern that the debt panel, formed in February after President Barack Obama signed an executive order, will be on a tight deadline to solve complicated budget issues and will be rushed to finish recommendations by the Dec. 1 deadline. The panel's first meeting is set for April 27. 

"With such a short time to deliver, we encourage you to move as quickly as possible to engage the public and begin this important dialogue," the letter said. 

The lawmakers suggested providing to the public a mailing address and phones numbers for the commission, its members and staff. 

The nation faces nearly $62 trillion in unfunded liabilities, nearly $13 trillion in public debt, an annual deficit of more than $1 trillion, including $4 billion spent each week on interest payments on the debt, their letter outlined. 

"There are no easy solutions in charting a sustainable financial course for our country," the letter said. 

Leading the commission is former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.


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