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Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs: 'Pray for the Gang of Six'

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, the Gang of Six -- Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Warner (D-VA), and a returning Tom Coburn (R-OK) -- unveiled their plan to reduce the deficit to a bipartisan group of over 40 Senators. Fiscal Commission and Moment of Truth project co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Senator Alan Simpson released the following statement:

"We are very encouraged by the bipartisan support seen for the revitalized work of the Gang of Six, the return of Senator Tom Coburn to the fold, and growing interest on the Hill in developing a 'grand bargain' bipartisan plan to put our nation on a solid path towards fiscal responsibility and reform. These six Senators -- who have worked tirelessly over more than 7 months to agree on a long-term debt reduction plan based on the recommendations of the Fiscal Commission -- have shown tremendous courage, leadership, and determination in putting the national interest ahead of partisan interests. We hope that their colleagues in the House and Senate follow their leadership in pushing for a bold, bipartisan plan to bring our debt under control. 

The Gang of Six has laid out a comprehensive plan with immediate savings and a process to achieve savings in both defense and non-defense spending, enact cost-saving health reforms, ensure 75-year Social Security solvency, fundamentally reform the United States tax code, and reduce spending elsewhere in the budget. In doing so, the Gang of Six has put forward a plan for America's future that accepts the difficult truths about the size and scope of the problem, addresses the drivers of our expansive future cost growth, and represents the kind of broad based reform we are going to have to adopt to avoid a crisis. The approach they have put forward represents the best hope for achieving broad, bipartisan support for a serious fiscal consolidation package -- the kind of broad support necessary to pass legislation in Washington. 

The recent warning by Standard & Poor's that it would downgrade the U.S. Government's credit rating if Congress and the administration fail to enact a credible solution to the rising U.S. government debt is a further reminder that we can't afford to kick the can down the road with a deal that fails to meaningfully address our fiscal situation. The work of the Gang of Six on a comprehensive plan to stabilize and reduce our debt as a percentage of the economy is of the size and balance necessary to reassure markets and should be a model for the negotiations between the administration and Congressional leadership on the debt limit. 

But beyond the policy -- good, balanced, bipartisan policy -- today the Gang of Six offers us something more: hope. Hope that there is indeed an arena for bipartisan compromise on this crippling debt and these endless deficits. Hope that in fact Washington is not broken. Hope that America can continue to be great -- something that won't be possible if we go broke. Hope that a crisis can be averted and our children and grandchildren will continue to have the same opportunities and bright futures we had.

Pray for the Gang of Six." 

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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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Jul 19, 2011
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"We are very encouraged by the bipartisan support seen for the revitalized work of the Gang of Six, the return of Senator Tom Coburn to the fold, and growing interest on the Hill in developing a 'grand bargain' bipartisan plan to put our nation on a solid path towards fiscal responsibility and reform. These six Senators -- who have worked tirelessly over more than 7 months to agree on a long-term debt reduction plan based on the recommendations of the Fiscal Commission -- have shown tremendous courage, leadership, and determination in putting the national interest ahead of partisan interests. We hope that their colleagues in the House and Senate follow their leadership in pushing for a bold, bipartisan plan to bring our debt under control."