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Bowles, Simpson Encouraged by Growing Bipartisan Support for a 'Go Big' Deficit Reduction Plan

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, one hundred members of the House from both political parties released a letter urging the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction ("Select Committee") to go beyond its legislative mandate and find $4 trillion in budget savings, the minimum needed to reverse the rapid growth of the nation's debt. Former Fiscal Commission and current Moment of Truth project co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Senator Alan Simpson offered the following joint statement in praise of the letter:

"In an era of high political tension, the letter made public by one hundred members of the House is a courageous display of bipartisanship that represents, we hope, a turning point in the debate over how best to deal with the nation's fiscal challenges. For too long, budget issues have divided the parties, not unified them. This letter shows there is a strong bipartisan core of rank-and-file members in the House ready to deal robustly with our budget problems, and deal with them now.

The American people know the fiscal path that Washington is on is unsustainable. If we don't aggressively address our fiscal imbalance, the mounting debt created by government borrowing will put our country's economy into a dangerous spiral that would make our current economic difficulties look small by comparison. All you have to do is look at what is happening in Europe to understand how rapidly things can fall apart, and how important it is for our political leaders to work together on a big solution to our fiscal crisis.

The truth is that we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. We can see it coming. The American people can see it coming. And today a growing group of House members have signaled that they can see it coming.

In the past, Members of Congress often walked the other way when it came time to debate important budget issues, which can be difficult to explain and politically risky to grapple with. But we sense a growing willingness on Capitol Hill to confront those issues-and to do something big. That's what today's letter signifies. As members of the Select Committee work toward their Nov. 23 deadline, it is important that they seize the moment, that they be bold, and that they be smart. It is important that they find the savings needed to balance the budget, put Social Security on a path toward solvency and simplify a tax code riddled with unfair loopholes.

In our testimony before the Select Committee yesterday we told them that the American public understands the importance of dealing with this problem and will support the Committee if it makes the big, bold, smart decisions necessary to bring our debt under control in a way that does not disrupt the fragile economic recovery. This letter shows that a growing number of Members of Congress in both parties have heard this message."

 

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The Moment of Truth project is a non-profit, non-partisan effort which seeks to foster honest discussion about the nation's fiscal challenges, the difficult choices that must be made to solve them, and the potential for bipartisan compromise that can move the debate forward and set our country on a sustainable path. The Moment of Truth project is a project of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

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Nov 2, 2011
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In an era of high political tension, the letter made public by one hundred members of the House is a courageous display of bipartisanship that represents, we hope, a turning point in the debate over how best to deal with the nation's fiscal challenges. For too long, budget issues have divided the parties, not unified them. This letter shows there is a strong bipartisan core of rank-and-file members in the House ready to deal robustly with our budget problems, and deal with them now.