Deficit reduction commission co-chairman Erskine Bowles says he won't "do a whitewash" on the call for austerity measures merely to get a bipartisan consensus among panelists.
Former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson released recommendations last week calling for steep cuts in Medicare, lifting the Social Security retirement age and increasing taxes, including a 15 percent hike in federal gasoline tax.
The bipartisan commission must still conduct an internal vote on what to present to Congress, and 14 of the 18 members must affirm the recommendations to form a bipartisan endorsement.
Bowles told MSNBC Friday "we're not going to make it softer than it is today" in order to get the necessary 14 votes.
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