64 Senators Call for Deficit Reduction Solutions

March 22, 2011

On March 18, 64 Senators—including 32 Republicans, 31 Democrats and 1 Independent—signed a letter calling on the President to send a “strong signal of support” for a comprehensive deficit reduction package based on the work of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

The letter, organized by Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) urges that comprehensive deficit reduction is necessary and asks the President to look beyond FY2011 discretionary funding levels and engage in a broader discussion about a comprehensive package that includes discretionary spending cuts, entitlement changes and tax reform.

The letter is the strongest signal yet of the impatience among many senators for President Obama to take a more active role in fiscal talks, which thus far have dealt only with how to fund the government for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year. Those discussions so far have led to two short-term funding bills.

“By approaching these negotiations comprehensively, with a strong signal of support from you, we believe that we can achieve consensus on these important fiscal issues. This would send a powerful message to Americans that Washington can work together to tackle this critical issue,” the senators wrote.

The letter notes that a bipartisan group of Senators has been working to craft a comprehensive deficit reduction package based upon the recommendations of the Fiscal Commission, and that the group’s work represents an important foundation to achieve meaningful progress on our debt. However, the letter does not go so far as to endorse them or specify areas for savings or tax changes.

Lawmakers finally appear to see that the fiscal problems facing the U.S. must be addressed. Although the recommendations forwarded by the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform didn’t garner the required number of votes for a formal recommendation, NSBA applauds their work as an important first step, and is pleased to see some in Congress are remaining vigilant on reducing the U.S. deficit.

Please click here to view the letter.

Below is the list of senators who signed on to the letter.

Republicans:

Lamar Alexander (R–TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Scott Brown (R- MA), Richard Burr (R -NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) John Hoeven (R-ND), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Democrats:

John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Begich (D-AK),  Thomas Carper (D-DE), Mark Udall (D- CO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) , Kent Conrad (D-ND) , Mark Warner (D-VA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

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