President Barack Obama filled out his commission to tackle the U.S. deficit on Friday, appointing the head of Honeywell International and a former Federal Reserve vice president to the bipartisan panel.
Obama, who established the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform after the Congress failed to create a similar panel, nominated four new members after choosing Republican and Democratic chairmen earlier this month.
The president named Honeywell Chief Executive David Cote, a Republican, and Democrat Alice Rivlin, a former Federal Reserve vice president who was also budget director under former President Bill Clinton.
He also appointed Democrat Andrew Stern, president of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union, and businesswoman Ann Fudge, former chief executive of Young & Rubicam Brands.
For far too long, Washington has avoided the tough choices necessary to solve our fiscal problems, Obama said in a statement. I am proud that these distinguished individuals have agreed to work to build a bipartisan consensus to put America on the path toward fiscal reform and responsibility.
Obama named former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, and former Senator Alan Simpson, a Republican, earlier this month to the bipartisan commission.
Friday's announcement rounds out the number of appointees the president has said he will name for the 18-member panel. The other twelve are to be appointed by Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress.
The White House has said no more than four of Obama's choices would be from the same political party.
The Democratic president said the panel would have the latitude to consider any proposals to cut government spending and raise taxes, but analysts said they doubted the panel would have any teeth.
The commission is seen as being unlikely to be able to sway the bitterly divided Congress to take any politically unpopular steps necessary to stem the tide of red ink.
The White House forecast a $1.6 trillion budget deficit this year, or about 10.6 percent of gross domestic product.
Obama has asked the commission to come up with a strategy to balance the budget, excluding interest payments, in five years.
(Editing by Vicki Allen)