National

Feb 18, 2010 10:53 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

President sets up deficit panel

President Barack Obama has announced a new bipartisan commission to take on deficit-reducing responsibilities that Congress has been reluctant to embrace.

The move came a day after he touted the $862 billion economic stimulus program. Obama's administration has been taking an increasing amount of criticism for record-high deficits, and Obama said something has to be done about it. He said the continuing red-ink trend could "hobble our economy" and "will cloud our future."

Obama introduced former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, who worked for President Bill Clinton, and former Sen. Alan Simpson as co-chairmen of the panel.

The administration has forecast that the deficit will hit a record a record $1.56 trillion for the budget year ending Sept. 30.

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