November 21, 2011

Manchin: Let Us Vote On Bowles-Simpson Recommendations

If super committee fails, Manchin says President and Leaders of Congress should support immediate legislative action

To date, Bowles-Simpson is the only bipartisan plan that achieves $4 trillion in deficit reduction and provides pro-growth tax reform, long-term entitlement reform 

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) sent a letter today to President Obama and Congressional leaders urging them to schedule a vote on the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission if the so-called super committee fails to meet its deadline for finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.  

“I don’t believe that any one of us – any Member of Congress – wants to be part of the first generation that hands off this great country to the next generation in worse shape than we inherited it. But America is facing a bleak fiscal picture, with our national debt exceeding $15 trillion for the first time in history and projected to hit $21 trillion in 2021, and the prospect of interest on our debt reaching the level of our current defense spending in as soon as a decade.” 

In an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation yesterday, Senator Manchin said that failure cannot be an option for the deficit reduction super committee. He said if the committee does fail, other action must be taken immediately. Senator Manchin has offered a bipartisan Sense of the Senate resolution with his Republican colleague Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois urging their fellow Senators to encourage the super committee to reach $4 trillion in reductions through long-term entitlement and pro-growth tax reforms. About 140 House Members and Senators have expressed the same “Go Big” sentiment to the super committee, suggesting that the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission plan be used as a framework.  

“If the super committee fails – and I believe it must not – other action must be taken. We face the potential for future credit rating downgrades, increased market uncertainty, an unacceptably high unemployment rate, and, more importantly, the loss of even more confidence by the American people that their elected representatives can work together for the good of this great nation. We can and must do better than that. 

“In the year that I have been in Washington, only the Bowles-Simpson proposal has generated bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. While the Bowles-Simpson framework may not be perfect, it is the only proposal I have seen that provides pro-growth tax reform and long-term entitlement reform, while cutting our national debt. 

“In that spirit, if the super committee fails, I respectfully ask that you help us prove to the American people that we can still do our job at this critical juncture. I urge you to give the entire Congress a vote on the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission.”  

A copy of the letter is attached.