Lipinski Helps Lead Bipartisan Effort on Balanced Plan to Control the Federal Debt

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) helped lead the effort to pass a balanced, bipartisan federal budget plan that takes a commonsense approach to cutting the deficit while strengthening the long-term sustainability of programs critical for the middle class. The budget was modeled on the plan put forth in 2010 by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, co-chaired by former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles, and was introduced by five Democrats and four Republicans including Rep. Lipinski and fellow Illinois Reps. Mike Quigley and Robert Dold. When it was created, the original Simpson-Bowles Plan was supported by members on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum, such as Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

“The only way we can provide the serious deficit reduction that everyone agrees we need is if both parties stop playing partisan games and agree to a balanced approach,” Rep. Lipinski said. “We cannot wait until after the election. The time to act is now. This budget is a genuine compromise and a bold attempt to repair our nation’s finances. That’s why I am pushing my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass it.”

The budget plan voted on by the House today would trim the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, with two-thirds of the deficit savings coming from spending cuts and one-third from tax reform. It will simplify the tax code, get rid of tax loopholes, and lower tax rates for individuals and small businesses. It also includes a plan to preserve and strengthen critical programs such as Medicare and Social Security for future generations.

Supporters of the budget plan include its namesakes, Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson; former Republican U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici and Democrat Alice Rivlin, the co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force; the Concord Coalition; and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Former Sen. Domenici and Dr. Rivlin called the plan “the first truly bipartisan budget effort in the House of Representatives to recognize the need for both spending reform and a tax reform initiative that increases revenues for the future. The courage of the members who are supporting the Cooper-LaTourette budget shows that a vital middle can exist in Congress, despite the deeply polarized ideological atmosphere of the recent past.  If the House passes Cooper-LaTourette, it will be a sign to the American people that our policymakers in Washington, D.C., have begun to recognize fiscal reality and are prepared to deal with it in a responsible and balanced manner.”

Former Sen. Simpson and Erskine Bowles called the plan “the best hope for achieving the broad, bipartisan support necessary to enact a plan to bring our debt under control.”

“I’m very disappointed that some on both the left and the right attacked and distorted this plan,” Rep. Lipinski said. “Continued partisan posturing means more gridlock and more deficits that our nation cannot afford. Washington has to wake up and recognize that reducing the national debt requires the courage and the vision to compromise. Otherwise, the American people will suffer as deficits continue to grow and drag down our economy.”