Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) today joined a bipartisan group of freshman members of Congress in calling on leadership to embrace a balanced, bipartisan approach to addressing our nation's fiscal challenges. Speaking at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol, the group of 21 Republicans and 11 Democrats outlined a set of bipartisan principles for reducing the deficit, growing the economy, and protecting seniors and the middle class, and pledged to continue working together to find common sense solutions.
"Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to put politics aside and work together on a long-term, bipartisan deal to address our fiscal challenges," Kuster said. "No more lurching from crisis to crisis, no more my-way-or-the-highway demands. The only way to meaningfully reduce our deficit and put our nation on a sustainable fiscal path is by working together to find common ground. That's what the American people want, it's what our economy needs, and it's what our country deserves. I'm proud to join with other new representatives from both sides of the aisle who share my commitment to that type of bipartisan approach."
The new members of Congress have been meeting over the past several weeks to design a framework for addressing our fiscal challenges by streamlining government, simplifying the tax code, generating new revenue, and cutting spending -- while protecting Social Security and Medicare. The group announced today that it will formally organize and continue meeting as the United Solutions Caucus.
"We are committed to a new era in Congress where bipartisan solutions are the norm," the group wrote in a letter to Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi. "We are dedicated to working with leadership to help bring these solutions to reality. The common good of the country demands good faith negotiation, compromise, and immediate and significant action."
Today's announcement builds on Kuster's ongoing commitment to bringing Republicans and Democrats together to reduce the deficit in a balanced, responsible way that will spur job creation, grow the economy, and protect middle class families.
The full text of the group's letter to Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi is below.
The 113th Congress House Republican and Democratic new members are troubled by the fiscal crisis facing the country, with burdensome debt and trillion dollar annual deficits, which affect economic growth for all and healthcare assurances for our seniors. Members of our class implore the President and Congress to address this serious challenge now. In recent years, Congress has lacked the political will to come together and find solutions. The freshman members of the 113th Congress believe now is the time to work together.
We call upon leadership to no longer accept piecemeal solutions and to work toward finding long-term solutions to avoid financial collapse like Greece and other European countries. The bi-partisan freshmen members, as noted below, come to the table with mutual understanding and without personal agendas or political gamesmanship.
We affirm the following actions to secure the fiscal health of our Nation:
Strengthen and Preserve Medicare and Social Security -- While protecting current recipients and seniors, we must reform the Medicare and Social Security's long-term financial obligations by addressing rising health care costs and changing demographics. The goal is to make sure these essential programs meet our obligations to our seniors and ensure that these bedrocks are available to future generations, while reducing our long-term deficit and debt issues.
Promote economic growth to generate revenue -- Of critical importance is a fair and broad tax plan including eliminating excessive corporate subsidies, tax loopholes and other subsidies to provide lower rates, that will encourage a pro-growth economy, providing added revenue for the federal budget. We must also encourage innovation with less stringent regulation to help small businesses grow, which will lower unemployment.
Cutting spending -- While some spending cuts have already been made, we must look for additional savings moving forward to further reduce spending, while seeking to protect the programs that are crucial to our future health as a nation.
Identify efficiencies and consolidations -- Restructure and consolidate agencies and departments, eliminating duplication and waste.
Medicaid fraud -- Aggressively pursue Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse.
We believe that a bipartisan effort encompassing these needed reforms will yield a prosperous future for our country, while making good to today's seniors who are counting on the Federal Government to fulfill its obligations. We are committed to a new era in Congress where bipartisan solutions are the norm. We are dedicated to working with leadership to help bring these solutions to reality. The common good of the country demands good faith negotiation, compromise, and immediate and significant action.