Four members of Congress -- two Republicans and two Democrats -- have introduced the only bipartisan amendment to H.R. 444 that will be considered for a vote today on the House floor. The Schrader-Wolf-Cooper-Gibson Amendment suggests that the President use the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles framework as a guide in drafting his budget.
"To get anything of substance done in this partisan Congress we must reach across the aisle and find common ground with our like-minded Republican counterparts," said Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05). "This bipartisan amendment asks the President to heed the advice of his Debt Commission and take an all-of-the-above approach in getting our long-term cost drivers under control, promoting economic growth and providing certainty for our nation's businesses to grow and create jobs."
"I am disappointed that an amendment is even necessary, as I would hope that the President would have done this on his own initiative," said Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10). "The looming sequestration deadline should make resolving the fiscal crisis the most important item on his agenda."
"The debt is a bipartisan problem so we need a bipartisan solution," said Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05). "Most budget experts agree that Simpson-Bowles, or something like it, is where we'll eventually end up. It should be the foundation for any serious plan to reduce our debt in a balanced way."
"In an era of divided government, I believe a plan modeled after the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Commission is a reasonable approach both parties can get behind. It is my hope that the President comes to the table to do what is right for our country. At a time such as this, we need leadership and an ability to accept less than our ideal if we want to ensure our best days are still in front of us," said Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-19). "2013 must be the year we act, and the President can take the first step by submitting a budget based on these bipartisan principles."
This is the only bipartisan amendment to H.R. 444 and has garnered support from former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson, the Blue Dog Coalition, The Concord Coalition, Fix the Debt, and the Republican Main Street Partnership.
All four members voted for the Cooper-LaTourette budget substitute in March 2012, which was based on the framework set forth by the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission. It was the only bipartisan budget resolution offered last year and would have reduced the debt by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years.