House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt (D-SC) made the following statement on being appointed by the Speaker today to the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
"I am honored to be selected for the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Deficits are built into the structure of our budget, and they pose serious, long-term problems for our economy. The sooner we take steps to deal with these deficits, the better.
"In 1997, I was among the handful who initiated and then took part in the bipartisan negotiations that hammered out the Balanced Budget Act. We put the budget in surplus for the first time in 30 years.
"As we face today's fiscal challenge, we need to renew the search for common ground. With representation on both sides of the aisle from the House, the Senate, and the private sector, the Commission is charged with building consensus on ways to wipe out the deficit and ensure the long-run solvency of our major entitlements. It will not be easy, but it is badly needed, and I look forward to the challenge."