Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-1), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee today released the following statement after a bipartisan Ways and Means Committee meeting on the fiscal cliff.
"People across our district and nation are counting on us to work together and find a way to avoid the fiscal cliff. After meeting with my Ways and Means colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and being briefed on leadership meetings at the White House, I am cautiously optimistic that we can find common ground and begin addressing our deficit challenges this year.
"The fiscal cliff gives us an opportunity to put policies in place that will set our nation on a fiscally sustainable path. To get on this path, we need a balanced, long-term approach that focuses on three things. First, we need to invest in job creation. More jobs will mean more revenue to help get us out of the red. Second, we will have to take a hard look at all government programs and make sure taxpayers are getting the most bang for their buck. If a program isn't working or running efficiently, it needs to be cut or fixed. Defense cuts must also be on the table. A strong national defense doesn't have to be the most expensive national defense and there are cuts to be made that won't put a single American life at risk. Finally third, everyone must pay their fair share. We can't just cut our way out of the hole we're in. We cannot keep extending tax cuts to those who need them the least at the expense of our long-term fiscal sustainability.
"Solving this challenge won't be easy but working together, I am confident that we can reach an agreement that is good for our nation's fiscal future, puts people to work, and protects Social Security and Medicare."