U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) and U.S. Rep. Steven LaTourette (OH-14) announced today that they have filed a federal budget alternative based on principles outlined last year by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, co-chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. They are joined by U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader (OR-5), Charlie Bass (NH-2), Mike Quigley (IL-5), and Tom Reed (NY-29).
The Simpson-Bowles budget alternative, which has been endorsed by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, would trim the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years. It would put our debt-to-GDP ratio on a downward trajectory, decreasing to 67.9 percent in 2022. Two-thirds of the deficit savings would come from spending cuts and one-third from tax reform. The budget alternative would repeal the sequester enacted by the August Budget Control Act, replacing the automatic, across-the-board cuts due to begin in Jan. 2013 with a comprehensive, balanced plan for deficit reduction.
"It's time for leaders in both parties to stop playing politics with our nation's financial future," said Schrader. "We need to restore America's faith in our legislative process by putting forward a comprehensive package that embodies the principles of the Simpson-Bowles plan, which has already won broad bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate."
"The budget debate so far has been completely partisan, and our proposal is the only one with support from both parties," said Cooper. "Republicans and Democrats need to get serious about our deficit and this is the only real plan that will restore America's financial strength."
"The bipartisan budget I support is based on the sound, sober recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles budget where everything is on the table and we trim more than $4 trillion off the deficit," said LaTourette. "I'm tired of passing bills in the House, watching them die in the Senate and pretending that counts as success. Americans want us to work together like adults, pass a budget with bipartisan support in both Houses and have it signed into law. A partisan budget is not the way to go, and the budget modeled after Simpson-Bowles is the only vehicle to get us there."
"I am so very encouraged to see members of both parties working together to put forward a bold and comprehensive budget plan that looks at all parts of the budget and leave no sacred cows out on the range," said Simpson. "I believe that if members of Congress step up and agree to a bold plan like this, they will have the true respect and support of the American public."
"Congressmen Cooper and LaTourette, and all members who support their budget alternative, should be commended for having the courage to support a comprehensive fiscal plan that accepts the difficult truths about the size and scope of the problem and represents the kind of broad based reform we are going to have to adopt to avoid a crisis," said Bowles. "The approach they have put forward represents the best hope for achieving the broad, bipartisan support necessary to enact a serious fiscal consolidation package."
Like all budget proposals, the Simpson-Bowles alternative provides a blueprint for the committees of jurisdiction, which must determine how spending cuts should be made.