SHAHEEN, BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATORS CALL FOR PRESIDENT TO SUPPORT COMPREHENSIVE DEFICIT REDUCTION

March 18, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) joined a bipartisan group of Senators today to call on President Barack Obama to support a comprehensive deficit reduction package in any negotiations on the budget. 

“These days, Americans are looking at their family budgets to see where cuts need to be made. Washington needs to make those tough choices too,” Shaheen said. “That’s why I am calling on President Obama to support a comprehensive deficit reduction package that looks at discretionary spending, mandatory spending, and comprehensive tax reform.”

In their letter, the group of 63 Senators asks the President to engage in budget negotiations beyond fiscal year 2011 that include discretionary spending cuts, changes to mandatory spending, and comprehensive tax reform, all necessary to creating meaningful deficit reduction. The letter notes that a bipartisan group of Senators has been working to craft a comprehensive deficit reduction package based upon the recommendations of the President’s Fiscal Commission, and that the group’s work represents an important foundation to achieve meaningful progress on our debt.

In the letter, the Senators wrote: “By approaching these negotiations comprehensively, with a strong signal of support from you, we believe that we can achieve consensus on these important fiscal issues.  This would send a powerful message to Americans that Washington can work together to tackle this critical issue.”

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear President Obama:

As the Administration continues to work with Congressional leadership regarding our current budget situation, we write to inform you that we believe comprehensive deficit reduction measures are imperative and to ask you to support a broad approach to solving the problem.

As you know, a bipartisan group of Senators has been working to craft a comprehensive deficit reduction package based upon the recommendations of the Fiscal Commission.  While we may not agree with every aspect of the Commission’s recommendations, we believe that its work represents an important foundation to achieve meaningful progress on our debt.  The Commission’s work also underscored the scope and breadth of our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges.  

Beyond FY2011 funding decisions, we urge you to engage in a broader discussion about a comprehensive deficit reduction package.  Specifically, we hope that the discussion will include discretionary spending cuts, entitlement changes and tax reform. 

By approaching these negotiations comprehensively, with a strong signal of support from you, we believe that we can achieve consensus on these important fiscal issues.  This would send a powerful message to Americans that Washington can work together to tackle this critical issue.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Democrats:

Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Begich (D-AK),  Thomas Carper (D-DE), Mark Udall (D- CO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) , Kent Conrad (D-ND) , Mark Warner (D-VA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Republicans:

Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Lamar Alexander (R–TN), ? Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John ?Barrasso (R-WY), Roy ?Blunt (MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Scott Brown (R- MA), Richard Burr (R -NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Dan ?Coats (R-IN), Tom ?Coburn (R-OK), Thad ?Cochran (R-MS), Bob ?Corker (R-TN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mike ?Enzi (R-WY), Lindsay Graham (R-SC) John ?Hoeven (R-ND), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron ?Johnson (R-WI), Mark ?Kirk (R-IL), Mike ?Lee (R-UT), ? Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa ?Murkowski (R-AK), Rob ?Portman (R-OH),? James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

The total number of signers is 63.

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