Last year, more than 100 House members signed a letter urging the deficit-reduction “super committee” to “go big.” The super committee went nowhere, but the lawmakers behind the letter are at it again.
Four representatives are collecting signatures from colleagues for a letter to House and Senate leadership urging all options to be put on the table in ongoing fiscal talks. The group also arranged a well-attended Wednesday meeting with Campaign to Fix the Debt, a group whose members met with House GOP leadership on Wednesday and White House officials on Tuesday.
“To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table,” the letter to House and Senate leadership reads. “We also know from other bipartisan frameworks that savings from all parts of the budget and real reform of the tax system will be necessary to stabilize our debt.”
More than 60 members have signed the letter and more signatures are being collected. The letter may be broadly written, they wrote in an e-mail to colleagues, but “with enough members signed on we believe it sends a very powerful message.”
The effort is led by Reps. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, Heath Shuler, D-N.C., Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, and Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., who sent out an e-mail to House colleagues on Tuesday.
The Fix the Debt meeting included the group’s co-founders Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who both also led a presidential commission on fiscal issues, as well as business leaders.
The text of the letter is as follows:
Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and Leader McConnell:
We write to you as a bipartisan group of representatives from across the political spectrum in the belief that a successful bipartisan agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff” must include a long-term, comprehensive deficit reduction plan. Reaching a deal is vital to our country’s future. We know that there have been divisions in the past about how best to solve this challenge, but we approach you today with one simple message: we support a bipartisan common sense solution.
To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table. We also know from other bipartisan frameworks that savings from all parts of the budget and real reform of the tax system will be necessary to stabilize our debt as a share of the economy and assure America’s fiscal and economic well-being over the long term.
Our country needs honest, thoughtful leaders with the political courage to solve this issue once and for all. You have the unique opportunity and authority to achieve this, and we support your efforts as you do so.