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Tell the truth about Van Hollen and Social Security

Rep. Donna Edwards, a Prince George's County lawmaker elected in 2008 and now running to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Mikulski, has long pointed to rival Rep. Chris Van Hollen's statement as the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee that recommendations made by a deficit reduction panel in 2010 could serve as a "framework" for a broader budget deal ("Edwards, Van Hollen battle over trade, Social Security in first televised debate," March 25).

But those recommendations were not made by the panel. They were made by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairs of President Obama's Deficit Commission, after the panel failed to agree.

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This correction has been made by many people in many places, and it is disgraceful that The Sun still gets the facts wrong. Moreover, the recommendations in question did quite specifically involve cuts to Social Security, which Mr. Van Hollen endorsed. According to a Bloomberg article at the time:

"We're going to see the framework of Simpson-Bowles" in a deal to avert $109.3 billion in automatic federal spending cuts in January, Mr. Van Hollen said. "That mix of cuts, but also revenue, is the right way to go."

Cuts. He said it, — not I, not Ms. Edwards, but Mr. Van Hollen. Stop trying to cover for him and report the news accurately.

Katharine Rylaarsdam

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