Progressive leaders representing more than 50 groups participated in a news conference call to oppose a controversial plan to create a “fast track” deficit commission being pushed by Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. and Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, D-N.H. Their concern, as spelled out by Campaign for America's Future co-director Roger Hickey and others on the call, is that the commission would have the power to ram cuts in Social Security and other social programs through Congress, bypassing the traditional legislative debate that would give citizens opportunities to influence the outcome.
Conrad and Gregg's efforts to create the commission has prompted President Obama to propose a deficit commission of his own, and the leaders said that they would vigorously oppose Obama's proposal as well if it had the same features as the Conrad-Gregg plan.
Joining Hickey at the news conference call was Gerald Shea, assistant to the president, AFL-CIO; Barbara Kennelly, president, National Committee to Protect Social Security; Joan Entmacher, vice president, National Women’s Law Center; and Hilary Shelton, director, NAACP Washington Bureau.
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