Politics & Government

McConnell voted against debt panel, but he has some suggestions

DANVILLE, Ky. — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he hopes the bipartisan commission to reduce the national debt that President Barack Obama will announce Thursday "won't be just another aimless commission that makes a report that nobody pays attention to."

Obama will sign an executive order Thursday to create the commission. It will reportedly be chaired by Democrat Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff for President Clinton, and Republican Alan Simpson, former senator from Wyoming.

McConnell earlier this month voted against a Senate bill to establish a similar commission, even though he endorsed the idea last year.

Speaking Wednesday to the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce, McConnell said "the commission approach is the right way to go." McConnell said he will recommend three senators to be on the commission, but he wouldn't name those picks.

"The only instruction I'm going to give them is that I think the problem is that we're spending too much, not that we're taxing too little," he said.

McConnell said he would like the commission "to come up with a way to deal with our large unfunded mandate problem: Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid. We have massive unfunded liabilities because we have promised way more than we can possibly deliver."

The commission's report won't be finished until after the November elections.

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