Senior White House Correspondent Major Garrett has learned that President Obama will name Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson as co-chairs of his soon-to-be-created Debt Commission.
The President is formulating the commission to tackle the nation's sky-rocketing deficit.
Bowles is a former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton and Alan Simpson was a Republican Senator from Wyoming and a member of the GOP Senate leadership in the early 1990s.
Major Garrett was given the following details from a White House official...
On Thursday, President Obama will sign an executive order establishing the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and announce that former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Senate Whip Alan Simpson will serve as the Commission’s co-chairs.
Erskine Bowles is currently President of the University of North Carolina. He served as White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton from 1996 to 1998. In that capacity, Bowles brokered the last significant bipartisan budget agreement, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, with the Republican leadership in Congress—helping to generate the first balanced budget in nearly 30 years. He had previously served as Deputy White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1995 and as head of the Small Business Administration from 1993 to 1994. Bowles has also had a long career in business, helping to found the investment firm Carousel Capital in Charlotte, North Carolina, and he was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina in both 2002 and 2004.
Alan Simpson served as a U.S. Senator from Wyoming from 1979 to 1997. From 1985 to 1995, he was the Republican whip in the Senate, and he also chaired the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security. During his career in the Senate, Simpson was often a strong voice for fiscal balance—for example, voting in favor the bipartisan 1990 deficit-reduction agreement. From 1997 to 2000, Simpson taught at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Simpson left Harvard in 2000 to return home to Cody, Wyoming, where he now practices law with his two sons. Simpson serves on the Commission for Continuity in Government, as well as Co-Chair of Americans for Campaign Reform with several former Senate colleagues. He served as a member of the Iraq Study group.