Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, released the following statement after the Senate passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2014:
"Passing this budget is a good first step that, along with passing a continuing resolution to fund the government through September and avoiding a government shutdown, signals a return to regular order in the Senate. I also hope it signals a move towards long-term budgeting, prioritizing how we spend scarce taxpayer dollars, and responsible governing that gets us away from lurching from one fiscal crisis to another. But this isn't the end. Members of Congress, with the leadership of the President, now need to come together and reconcile the differences between the starkly different visions of government put forward by the House and Senate budgets. I think the best way to do that is by adopting a comprehensive "grand bargain' that does three basic things. First, we should raise revenues to the levels we had when we saw four balanced budgets in a row in the late 1990s, primarily by reducing tax expenditures and eliminating costly loopholes. Second, we need entitlement reform that doesn't savage older people or poor people and keeps these programs strong for the long haul. And third, we should look in every nook and cranny of the federal government and ask, "How can we get a better result for less money?' If we do those three things, we can finally demonstrate our ability to govern and to get our country back on the right fiscal track. I'm ready to help provide leadership through my chairmanship on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where I will focus like a laser on making every federal program more efficient and getting a better result for every taxpayer dollar spent by our government. I also stand ready to work in my capacity on the Finance Committee to reform our complicated and outdated tax code, modernizing it for a new global economy, and making it simpler for families and businesses. Some may think passing this budget is the last chapter in a long fiscal saga, but hopefully it's the first chapter of a productive Congress ready to work together to tackle our long-term fiscal challenges in a balanced, responsible way."