WASHINGTON--U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) today supported a House bill that will fund the government for the next two fiscal years, but stood firm in demanding a comprehensive budget solution for America's long-term debt and deficit problems.
"This is a puny deal but it's better than no deal at all," Cooper said. "It shows that Congress can keep government open, but not fix our fundamental budget problems. I will keep working harder than ever on major reforms of Congress and American government."
Earlier this week, Cooper sent a letter to Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan, budget committee chairmen for their respective chambers. Joining leadership of the Blue Dog Coalition and three moderate Republicans, Cooper called for a deal "that solves our fiscal problems."
Last year, Cooper and former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) offered the only bipartisan budget on the House floor. It was based on principles outlined by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, co-chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.
The Cooper-LaTourette budget would trim the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and replace the infamous, across-the-board sequestration cuts with a comprehensive, balanced plan for deficit reduction. It would put America's debt-to-GDP ratio on a downward trajectory, decreasing to 67.9 percent in 2022.
The effort was supported by major budget and fiscal watchdog groups. It was endorsed by newspapers across the country and hailed as "brave" by the USA Today.