U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) met today with leaders of the Fix the Debt campaign, calling for swift action on a balanced, bipartisan debt reduction plan.
"It would really damage our economy to go over the fiscal cliff," Cooper said. "I'm encouraged because both President Obama and Speaker Boehner have said they are open to a balanced plan to reduce the debt. I am more confident than ever we can get a deal and think we should stay in session as long as it takes, because we lose $11 billion each day we delay."
Along with former White House chief-of-staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, two dozen bipartisan members of Congress heard from business leaders and community advocates who support a debt deal based on spending cuts, entitlement reform, and revenue increases.
In March 2012, Cooper and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) introduced the only bipartisan budget, based on the proposal from the Simpson-Bowles National Commission On Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The Cooper-LaTourette budget would reduce the debt by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years.
Without a comprehensive debt reduction plan from Congress, in early 2013 the U.S. will face a combination of tax increases and severe budget cuts called sequestration, known collectively as the "fiscal cliff."
"This is a planned crisis," said Cooper. "Congress has had several chances to avoid the cliff, and now we're teetering on the edge. The debt is a bipartisan problem, and we need a bipartisan solution like Simpson-Bowles. I will keep working hard to fix this, and I hope that Americans will ask all their elected officials to do the same."