Today, the Concord Coalition will award U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) with the Paul E. Tsongas Economic Patriot Award for his efforts to push a bipartisan deficit reduction plan earlier this year.
"I would like to thank the Concord Coalition for recognizing the importance of this bipartisan legislation, which I was proud to help introduce," said Rep. Quigley. "As we look to move America forward, this is the only budget out there that includes each of the "3B's' necessary to reduce our national debt and deficit. It's Bipartisan, Big, and Balanced. Congress cannot afford to ignore fiscal reform like this, which puts everything on the table and balances spending cuts with tax reform."
Rep. Quigley is being honored along with the 37 of his colleagues who also voted for the plan in March of this year. The legislation, introduced with Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH), was based on the recommendations of a bipartisan majority of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, commonly referred to as The Simpson-Bowles Commission, and was the only budget plan to receive bipartisan support in the House this year.
This "3B Budget" alternative:
· is the only bipartisan budget on the table. In fact, there hasn't been a single bipartisan budget considered by the House since 1996 and possibly earlier, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
· goes big by cutting the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years. This number would stabilize the debt by 2015 and reduce debt as a percentage of GDP below 70% by 2020.
· balances 2/3 spending cuts, 1/3 tax reform to achieve deficit reduction. In this budget, there is a shared sacrifice and no sacred cows when it comes to spending.
"We are honoring Republican and Democratic House members who this year put the national interest above political partisanship," said Robert L. Bixby, Concord's executive director. "Instead of pursuing narrow agendas, they put everything on the table, made tough choices and called for shared sacrifice. Their plan could rein in projected deficits and put the United States on a more responsible and sustainable course -- one that would protect our nation's strength and shield future generations of Americans from crippling national debt. This is what responsible budgeting is all about. It is also what political leadership is all about. We salute the courage it took for these 38 members of Congress to vote for this plan in the face of strong opposition from many congressional colleagues and a wide range of powerful special interests. We will need more such courage and leadership in the months and years ahead. "
The Paul E. Tsongas Economic Patriot Award, named for one of Concord's founding cochairmen, honors those who have demonstrated a commitment to fiscal and generational responsibility. Over the years it has been given to individuals of varied backgrounds and political affiliations for their lasting contributions to America's economic health.
Rep. Quigley has been committed to good government reform and deficit reduction in his two terms in Congress. He has continually advocated for overhauling unlimited Defense spending and is the author of Reinventing Government: The Federal Budget Parts I and II, a report which establishes transparency in the budget process and offers 60 recommendations to save $2 trillion over the next 10 years. Guided by principles of the Simpson-Bowles budget alternative, he has worked across the aisle to push a "3B Budget Plan" that is bipartisan, big and balanced.