President Barack Obama on Saturday called on Congress to pass a bill creating a fiscal commission amid reports that he will likely create an executive commission if Congress does not act.
Obama issued a statement calling for Republicans and Democrats to join the effort, even though Republicans have already voiced their opposition to the plan.
"I strongly support legislation currently under consideration to create a bipartisan, fiscal commission to come up with a set of solutions to tackle our nation’s fiscal challenges – and call on Senators from both parties to vote for the creation of a statutory, bipartisan fiscal commission," the president said.
The proposal by Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and ranking Republican Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) is slated to receive a vote next week during the debate to raise the nation's debt ceiling.
Last week, Gregg said the proposal did not have the votes, but senior Democratic leaders and the White House reached a deal this week to create a bipartisan commission by executive order.
Obama's statement appears a last chance bid to urge Congress to pass their own commission. The effort is aimed at confronting the country's burgeoning debt, which is now at $12.3 trillion.
Conrad and Gregg both favor a congressional commission but Conrad views the executive commission as the next best option. Gregg and other Republicans have split with Conrad over the executive commission, saying it would lack the authority to force Congress to vote on its recommendations.