Today, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., announced that he has organized and will help lead a bipartisan coalition of 44 U.S. senators who will encourage the members of the congressional "super committee" to seek the broadest possible bipartisan agreement to address the nation's deficits and debt. This group of 22 Republicans, 21 Democrats & 1 Independent builds upon Sen. Chambliss' yearlong efforts, along with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., to craft a deficit and debt framework as the two co-founders of the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Six."
"If we don't responsibly address the debt issue now, for the first time in the history of our country, our generation is going to leave the next generation an America that is not as good and wholesome as the America we inherited," Sen. Chambliss said. "Until we do something about it, that debt is increasing by about $4 billion a day."
"I am pleased to have partnered once again with my colleague and friend Saxby Chambliss to organize this new bipartisan group representing one-third of the members of the U.S. Senate. Our coalition of 44 senators has agreed to work together to encourage the "super committee' to act boldly to reach the broadest possible agreement to strengthen our economy, encourage more job creation and greater investment, and to begin putting America back on a sustainable fiscal path," Sen. Warner said.
As part of the August compromise on raising the debt ceiling, a bipartisan, bicameral 12-member panel was appointed to identify $1.5 trillion in budget savings over 10 years, in addition to the nearly $1 trillion in savings included in the debt-ceiling legislation. However, the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force ("Domenici-Rivlin"), the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform ("Simpson-Bowles"), and the Senate's own Gang of Six independently concluded that any meaningful and comprehensive solution should achieve at least $4 trillion in debt reduction if it is to reassure the financial markets, restore public confidence and create the foundation for long-term economic growth.
The bipartisan group of 44 senators, representing more than one-third of the members of the U.S. Senate, agreed to the following statement of principles, which will be shared with members of the Joint Special Committee:
"As a bipartisan group of Senators, we will encourage and support the Super Committee in fulfilling its mission. We are here to support a deficit reduction package consistent with the following principles that should:
* Include enough deficit reduction to stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, and put the debt on a downward path, and provide fiscal certainty. We believe a reasonable target is at least $4 trillion, including previously enacted deficit measures. This will send the right message to the financial markets.
* Use the established, bipartisan debt and deficit reduction frameworks as a starting point for discussions.
* Focus on the major parts of the budget and include long-term entitlement reforms and pro-growth tax reform.
* Be structured to grow the economy in the short, medium and long-term.
* Work to include the American public and the business community in a broader discussion about the breadth of the issues, challenges and opportunities facing us."