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OPINION

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

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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.
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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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