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Lancaster, Kissell join Fix the Debt effort

Former Democratic Congressmen Martin Lancaster and Larry Kissell are lending their names to the Fix the Debt campaign that is seeking to pressure Congress to take major steps to overhaul programs such as Social Security and Medicare and other entitlements to address the question of the national debt.

“We are honored to have former Representatives Lancaster and Kissell join our campaign for a strong economy,'' said Bob Ingram, the co-chair of the state Fix the Debt campaign.

The campaign is being financed by former Wall Street executive Pete Peterson and is being headed by former UNC President Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson.

More than 11,195 North Carolinians have signed the group's petition.

Lancaster and Kissell among 100 former members of Congress who were named to the Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council, a branch of the Fix the Debt campaign.

Hagan: long-term, bipartisan approach needed on spending cuts

Sen. Kay Hagan says she’s meeting with a group of nine other Democrats and 10 Republicans to look for an alternative to the automatic federal spending cuts (also known as sequestration) that go into effect on Friday.

Hagan told reporters in a conference call Tuesday morning that the group of 20 is looking at a new proposal from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. The two have said start with $1.5 trillion in spending cuts and later go on to more cuts and tax and entitlement reforms.

Morning Roundup: Coble open to tax hikes, Perdue may revoke judicial order

Members of the N.C. congressional delegation say they’re ready to compromise on some hardened positions to reach a deal that would prevent the country from plunging over the “fiscal cliff.” Failing to reach an agreement by the end of the year would trigger tax hikes and massive cuts in spending on federal programs.

N.C. Rep. Howard Coble is the latest Republican who says he’s willing to buck one of the party’s sacrosanct pledges to not raise taxes. Read full story here.

More political headlines:

--N.C. Supreme Court Justice Patricia A. Timmons-Goodson, the first and only female African-American to serve on the state’s highest court, is resigning her position. Gov. Bev Perdue, a Democrat who will leave office after next month, is intent on making the replacement even though if it means she rescinds an executive order she signed to do it.

Morning Roundup: Are you willing to you help payoff the nation's debt?

The nation's $16 trillion-plus debt has some Americans so worried that they've donated nearly $8 million outside of federal taxes - to help pay it off. Yes, it's less than a drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps, according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, which annually accepts such "gifts." Read the article here.

More political headlines you may have missed over the long weekend:

--State legislators say their upcoming proposal to deal with the unprecedented $2.8 billion unemployment insurance won’t eliminate the issue that has outraged the business community – the higher taxes being imposed on employers to pay down the debt.

National debt debate comes to North Carolina

A couple of former governors, a mayor and business executives will be on hand Tuesday when The Campaign to Fix the Debt comes to Raleigh.

Erskine Bowles and former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson started the national, bipartisan campaign to bring public pressure to lower the national debt.

Former governors Jim Hunt and Jim Holshouser, Durham Mayor Bill Bell, former GlaxoSmithKline CEO Bob Ingram, and Clear Defense CEO Tonya Cockman will be at the campaign's North Carolina launch.

Morning Roundup: McCrory guarded about his stance on healthcare exchanges

Gov.-elect Pat McCrory remains guarded about what he intends to do after Gov. Bev Perdue's decision to set up a state-federal health exchange. In a statement Thursday, he said Perdue's decision gives him flexibility. Other Republican leaders blasted Perdue's decision. 

McCrory said he would talk to other Republican governors Friday. His campaign buddy S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley rejected a state exchange Thursday. More details here.

More political headlines:

--Erskine Bowles is reportedly saying -- again -- he would turn down any offer to become the next U.S. Treasury secretary, according to at least two media reports Thursday.

Bowles still mentioned as possible Obama appointee

Erskine Bowles says he's not interested in an Obama administration cabinet post. But his name is still often mentioned. The Washington Post is listing the former UNC system president, big-time Democrat and two-time U.S. Senate candidate as a potential pick for Treasury Secretary:

"Given the still-struggling state of the economy, Obama’s pick to succeed Geithner could well be the most important one he makes heading into a second term. White House chief of staff Jack Lew seems to have the inside track, but if he is chosen, Obama would have to find a new chief — his fourth during his time in office. Former Clinton Administration official — and two-time failed North Carolina Senate candidate — Erskine Bowles appears to be a rising choice thanks to his work on the eponymous debt commission."

Erskine Bowles says he's not interested in Obama post

Erskine Bowles tells the Wall Street Journal that isn't interested in a high-level position in President Barack Obama's second-term if he is re-elected. “I’m staying in North Carolina,” Mr. Bowles told the newspaper's Washington Wire blog. “This is home for me.”

Bowles, the former U.S. Senate candidate, UNC system president and chief of staff to Bill Clinton, is more focused on his federal debt initiative, designed to push the Republicans and Democrats toward a compromise on the pressing issue.

Morning Roundup: GOP candidate calls Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker a 'role model'

GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory on Tuesday embraced Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has become a hero in conservative circles because of his battles with organized labor.

Barnstorming across the state with Walker, McCrory declared that “there was no greater role model” than Walker and that he would bring the same kind of strong leadership qualities and pro-growth policies to North Carolina. Full story here.

More political headlines:

--Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, champions of deficit reduction through both spending cuts and tax increases, said Tuesday evening too many congressmen value their own re-election over working with both parties to tackle the national debt.

Bowles related group raises $25 million for debt reduction campaign

An organization founded by Erskine Bowles and Al Simpson announced Tuesday that it has raised more than $25 million to launch a national campaign to encourage policy makers to pass debt legislation in the coming months.

The Campaign to Fix the Debt has collected contributions from corporate CEOs and others for a national media campaign and advertising campaign to urge lawmakers reach a solution to the debt crisis.

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