As the Joint Select Committee established by Congress approaches the November 23 deadline to present a debt reduction plan for expedited consideration, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and Congressman Mike Simpson say the members still have options. Crapo and Simpson joined dozens of Senate and House colleagues today at a Capitol Hill news conference to urge a comprehensive deficit reduction plan of up to $4 trillion.
Crapo is a member of the Gang of Six who has been building support on a plan to reduce spending by $3.7 trillion over ten years. He says a three-tiered approach of discretionary and mandatory spending cuts and comprehensive tax reform promoting fiscal stability and economic growth can still be embraced in the Congress. Simpson recently authored a letter signed by over 100 House colleagues urging the Committee to "go big' on spending reductions.
"Our deficit is reaching crisis levels and there's no more time for partisan finger pointing -- and frankly, the American people no longer have the stomach for it," said Simpson. "No political party has a monopoly on failed policies or over-the-top rhetoric. What Americans really want is for Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate to set aside their party labels and focus on what is best for the country. I am proud to stand with my colleague and my friend, Senator Mike Crapo -- whose leadership in the Senate has been vital in this effort -- to do what is necessary to put our fiscal house back in order."
"We understand the pressures facing members of the Committee, and we want them to see that widespread and bipartisan support exists for larger deficit reductions," Crapo said. "There are already more than 40 Senators willing to embrace significant deficit-cutting proposals from the Gang of Six that will grow our economy by lowering tax rates, broadening the base and simplifying the tax code to make it flatter, fairer and more competitive. We have some of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We are discouraging new economic activity and are at gridlock over spending cuts. We don't have to be. We have bipartisan agreement to "go big' and find a solution to our debt crisis."
The Joint Select Committee has until November 23 to agree on a plan to cut spending by at least $1.2 trillion to be considered under expedited procedures provided in the Budget Control Act. Under the law, Congress must approve the package by December 23. In the event the Committee fails to meet its target or Congress disapproves the plan, automatic spending cuts will go into effect to reduce funding levels from security and non-security accounts to meet any shortfall in the $1.2 trillion deficit reduction target.