GOP Senators: Tie Entitlement Cuts to Rise in Debt Ceiling

Friday, 28 Dec 2012 10:14 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Republican Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander on Friday introduced a plan that would cut entitlement spending by $1 trillion a year in exchange for a similar increase in the nation’s debt ceiling.

“I think at this moment ... it’s pretty apparent that we’re not going to do what we’ve been called to do,” Coker said at a Capitol Hill news conference, The Hill reports.

Corker was referring to the hope that Senate Republicans would receive commitments for large entitlement cuts as part of a deal to avert the fiscal cliff scheduled for the end of the year.

The two Tennessee senators said the expiration of the federal debt ceiling was an opportunity to rein in the costly growth of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, the Hill reports.

The U.S. government is expected to reach the debt ceiling on Dec. 31.

“Unfortunately for America, the next line in the sand is going to be the debt ceiling,” Corker said, noting that it could be used as leverage in talks with Democrats.

“We hope that then we will turn to the serious business of reforming our entitlements,” he said, according to The Hill. “This bill basically over the next 10 years will produce about $1 trillion in savings and reforms to cause these programs to be solvent over the long haul so future seniors will have the opportunity to enjoy these benefits.”

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