After a productive August state work period, the U.S. Senate returned to Washington, D.C., on September 10 for what I hoped would be a productive session. Instead, our session ended early in the morning on Saturday, September 22, so that members could hit the campaign trail. While we did pass a Continuing Resolution to avert a government shutdown, I was hopeful that we could find a way to move forward and prevent the fast-approaching fiscal cliff. Instead, the can has been kicked down the road until after the election.
Earlier in the month, the U.S. experienced another wakeup call when our national debt hit the $16 trillion mark. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen once said that the greatest threat to our national security is our debt. As I traveled throughout Idaho in August, I discussed with many groups the threat to our American Dream caused by our out-of-control national debt.
I continue to work with the "Gang of Six' to put piece together a debt reduction package that includes spending cuts and caps, tax reform and entitlement reform. Everything must be on the table so that a comprehensive agreement is done fairly. I am hopeful we will be able to lay out our plan after the election in November.