Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and a member of the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, today commented on the Commission's degree of support for Co-Chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson's final proposal on how to balance the budget by 2015 and significantly improve the nation's long-term fiscal outlook.
"Despite the fact that the Commission did not reach the 14 votes needed to send this plan to Congress for a vote, the majority of the Commission supported the plan. This was an essential step toward getting action on our out-of-control federal spending, deficits and debt. The Commission plan represents united acknowledgement of our situation. No one can deny that we are headed for a fiscal meltdown and that action is needed now. Most importantly, the plan also represents the bipartisan compromises that both political parties must be willing to make in order to change our current course.
"Left unchecked, our perilous economic situation will only worsen and when the crisis hits, solutions will be that much more painful for all Americans. The Commission plan should serve as an action plan for the incoming Congress, because while the plan is imperfect and falls short of solving the problem, it is a step forward that we urgently need.
"Lawmakers in Washington were elected to govern. While it is often easier politically to kick the can down the road, we are now past that point. To do nothing in the face of all of the evidence does a tremendous disservice to all Americans, and especially to those in the next generation. I urge my colleagues to advance the Commission's efforts in the next Congress, to have the courage to take bold steps to get our fiscal imbalance under control. Now is the time to govern, and the Commission has provided a blueprint for action."