Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo announced his support of a bipartisan plan to combat the nation's growing deficit on Thursday.
Crapo said he was setting aside his reservations about the package of long-term spending cuts and revenue increases. Two other Republicans, Sens. Tom Coburn and Judd Gregg, joined Crapo in support of the controversial plan, which could cut the deficit by almost $4 trillion over the coming decade. With the Republican yes votes, the plan is now expected to win a majority of a special panel's 18 members. The panel was hand-picked by President Barack Obama to carefully craft spending curbs, such as increasing the Social Security retirement age.
Among other things, the plan would also scale back child tax credits, mortgage interest deductions and the deduction claimed by employers who provide health insurance.
Crapo issued a joint statement with Coburn on Thursday:
"Doing nothing will, sooner rather than later, guarantee that this nation becomes a second-rate power with less opportunity and less freedom," the senators said. "The plan developed by the debt commission, while flawed and incomplete, will help America avoid this fate and secure freedom for future generations."