Sens. Mark Warner and Saxby Chambliss have formed a bipartisan group of senators in hopes of convincing the supercommittee to more than double the amount of budget cuts agreed to in the debt deal between President Barack Obama and Congress.
“We’re trying to say, if you go bold . . . we’ll be there to support you,” Warner, a Virginia Democrat, told the Richmond Times Dispatch
Warner said the group of 36 senators — composed of 18 Republicans, 17 Democrats, and one Independent — would like to see the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction identify at least $4 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years rather than stick with the $1.5 trillion target included in the debt deal.
The 12-member panel has until Thanksgiving to come up with its recommendations; Congress is scheduled to vote on them before Christmas.
Warner said the group formed with Chambliss, a Georgia Republican, wants the committee to consider both entitlement and tax reforms in its deliberations, as well as previous deficit-reduction proposals that ended up going nowhere.
One of them, the so-called “Gang of Six” plan led by Warner and Chambliss contained $3.7 trillion in cuts.
Warner told the Times-Dispatch that the $1.5 trillion target is “not nearly bold enough to truly fix our nation’s balance sheet.”
“Now we’ve got spending at 25 percent, revenues at 15 percent,” he added. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you’re going to get close to balanced, it needs to be somewhere in the middle.”
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