Lipinski Renews Call for Bipartisan Deal to Raise Debt Ceiling and Reduce the Deficit, Offers Compromise Between Existing Plans to Avert Default

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) released the following statement regarding the ongoing negotiations over increasing the debt ceiling:

“From the beginning, I have called for a bipartisan compromise to reduce the deficit and increase the debt ceiling. Unfortunately, the fact is that we now have less than a week left before the Aug. 2 deadline for averting a default. A default would likely have far-reaching, negative consequences for our still-fragile economy, and would especially hurt middle-class Americans who are continuing to struggle.

“I am deeply disappointed that the two sides have abandoned efforts to strike a ‘grand bargain’ that pairs spending cuts and sensible revenue increases that do not harm the middle class in order to produce a historic deficit reduction package. Speaker Boehner had agreed with President Obama to take such an approach. Instead, we are now faced with competing plans that doless to address the national debtand do not have the support to pass both houses of Congress. I believe we should cut spending and close unjustifiable tax loopholes that benefit only powerful special interests to reduce future deficits, and I still hope an agreement can be reached to do this.

“But if we cannot reach such an agreement, I believe our best opportunity for an acceptable compromise would be to combine Senate Majority Leader Reid’s deficit-cutting plan with a “clean” balanced budget amendment, such as the bipartisan amendment I introduced along with Rep. Justin Amash (MI). Passage of a balanced budget amendment has been long sought, and this compromise would for the first time send such an amendment to the states for ratification, giving the American people their say on whether a balanced budget amendment should be added to the Constitution. In keeping with the Reid plan, the debt ceiling would be increased through early 2013, there would be significant budget cuts, and a bipartisan, bicameral committee would be established to propose additional cuts. I have talked to colleagues on both sides of the aisle who indicated they would be receptive to this proposal.

“Under this compromise, both sides would achieve some of their goals, but neither party would achieve everything it had hoped for. It is by no means a perfect outcome, and it is certainly not the deal I would prefer. But it is the very nature of compromise that no one will be entirely satisfied. Moreover, it is clear that a deal must be reached, and soon, to avoid the worst-case scenario of a default, which both sides agree cannot be allowed to occur.” 

(July 27, 2011)


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