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Van Hollen Calls Simpson-Bowles a Framework for Debt Deal

Representative Chris Van Hollen, the House Budget Committee’s top Democrat, predicted the proposal by President Barack Obama’s 2010 deficit panel will be the “framework” for averting the so-called fiscal cliff of spending cuts in January.

The deficit-cutting plan was offered by commission co-chairmen Al Simpson, a Republican former Wyoming senator, and Erskine Bowles, a Democratic former White House chief of staff. It called for $3.8 trillion in spending cuts and $1 trillion in more tax revenue by 2020 through rate increases or eliminating deductions. The commission recommended cuts in Medicare and Social Security benefits.