Simpson, Bowles want deep cuts from debt panel

By ALAN FRAM | November 1, 2011 | 1:05 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two prominent deficit-cutters are telling Congress' bipartisan "supercommittee" to meet its mandate of finding at least $1.2 trillion in 10-year budget savings — and then some.

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Erskine Bowles, who was President Bill Clinton's White House chief of staff, are testifying together to the special panel Tuesday. In testimony obtained by The Associated Press, they are telling the committee's 12 members that they must agree to an overall framework for both revenue increases and savings from benefit programs like Medicare.

Simpson and Bowles say the supercommittee should enact some savings immediately and order lawmakers to produce additional savings later. The two led a commission that recommended nearly $4 trillion in savings last year.

The supercommittee faces a Thanksgiving deadline to recommend a deficit-cutting plan.