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Vote set for controversial debt-slashing plan

By the CNN Wire Staff
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GOP members to support Obama's debt plan
  • Fourteen of the 18 commissioners need to vote for the plan in order to send it to Congress
  • Obama's commission comprises six presidential appointees, 12 current lawmakers
  • Recommendations include a 15% cut in the budgets for the White House and Congress

(CNN) -- A bipartisan commission will decide Friday whether to send Congress its controversial plan for slashing the federal deficit.

The 18-member panel released a report Wednesday recommending spending cuts and tax changes that would cut $4 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years. Fourteen of the 18 commissioners need to vote in favor of the plan in order to send it on to Congress.

The commission, established by President Obama early this year, is comprised of 12 current lawmakers -- evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans -- and six presidential appointees.

On Thursday, Democrat Sen. Max Baucus issued a statement indicating he could not support the plan.

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At a public meeting on Wednesday, it was clear that seven members would vote for the plan and that at least two -- Democrat Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan -- opposed it.

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill had vowed to bring the panel's plan to a floor vote by the end of the year if 14 members signed on.

The plan's recommendations include a 15 percent cut in the budgets for the White House and Congress that would save $800 million annually, a three-year freeze on the pay of the 535 elected officials who roam the Capitol and cutting the government's $4 billion annual budget for vehicles by 20 percent.

The committee's report also singles out a few potential targets, including 44 job training programs funded by nine separate federal agencies, 20 programs at 12 agencies devoted to the "study of invasive species" and 105 programs charged with promoting "participation in science, technology, education and math."

"Many of these programs cannot demonstrate to Congress or taxpayers they are actually accomplishing their intended purpose," the report said.

CNNMoney's Rich Barbieri contributed to this report.