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Obama debt-panel leaders: Make $2T down payment, then final deal

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Congress and the White House should agree to a $2 trillion down payment on the federal deficit in a deal to raise the debt ceiling but leave more significant reforms for later, according to the chairmen of President Obama's fiscal commission.

But broader fiscal reforms must be tackled before the 2012 election, the two write in an exclusive op-ed to be published Tuesday in The Hill.

Negotiators do not have time to agree to more than a large down payment before Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department says the U.S. faces default unless the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling is raised, according to former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles, the co-chairmen of Obama’s debt commission.

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