Bipartisan Deficit Reduction

Senator Warner announces formation of bipartisan group of 45 senators to encourage super committee to "go big" on deficit reduction

~ Warner leads new Senate coalition of 23 Republicans, 21 Democrats & 1 Independent ~

Senator Warner today announced that he has organized a bipartisan coalition representing more than one-third of the members of the U.S. Senate to encourage the members of the congressional “super committee” to seek the broadest possible bipartisan agreement to address the nation’s deficits and debt. This group of 45 Senators -- 23 Republicans, 21 Democrats and one Independent -- builds upon Sen. Warner’s yearlong efforts, along with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), to craft a deficit and debt framework as the two co-founders of the Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of Six.”

“Our 11th hour Gang of Six agreement to eliminate $3.7 trillion from the national debt came too late to be considered as part of the early August deadline to raise the debt limit, but the tough fiscal choices that our nation faces continue to get more difficult every day,” Senator Warner said. “The 12 members of the super committee have been tasked with reaching a bipartisan consensus on a plan to begin eliminating $1.5 trillion from our debt over the next ten years. Frankly, that’s not nearly bold enough to truly fix our nation’s balance sheet.”

“I am pleased to have partnered once again with my colleague and friend Saxby Chambliss to organize this new bipartisan group representing nearly one-third of the members of the U.S. Senate. Our coalition of 44 senators has agreed to work together to encourage the ‘super committee’ to act boldly to reach the broadest possible agreement to strengthen our economy, encourage more job creation and greater investment, and to begin putting America back on a sustainable fiscal path,” Sen. Warner said.

“We have come together today to demonstrate that there is broad, bipartisan support within the U.S. Senate for a responsible fiscal plan that cuts federal spending, reforms the tax code, and protects and strengthens our entitlement programs over the long-term,” said Sen. Warner.

“If we don’t responsibly address the debt issue now, for the first time in the history of our country, our generation is going to leave the next generation an America that is not as good and wholesome as the America we inherited,” Sen. Chambliss said. “Until we do something about it, that debt is increasing by about $4 billion a day.”

The 45 Senators have agreed to the following statement of principles:

“As a bipartisan group of Senators, we will encourage and support the Super Committee in fulfilling its mission. We are here to support a deficit reduction package consistent with the following principles that should:

  • Include enough deficit reduction to stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, and put the debt on a downward path, and provide fiscal certainty. We believe a reasonable target is at least $4 trillion, including previously enacted deficit measures. This will send the right message to the financial markets.
  • Use the established, bipartisan debt and deficit reduction frameworks as a starting point for discussions.
  • Focus on the major parts of the budget and include long-term entitlement reforms and pro-growth tax reform.
  • Be structured to grow the economy in the short, medium and long-term.
  • Work to include the American public and the business community in a broader discussion about the breadth of the issues, challenges and opportunities facing us.”

The 45 participants include these members of the U.S. Senate:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN)
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)


Richmond Times Dispatch: Warner and colleagues urge supercommittee to "go bold"
Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., has assembled a group of 36 senators from both sides of the aisle to pressure the deficit-reduction "supercommittee" to go beyond the $1.5 trillion in reductions sought by the president and Congress in last month's debt deal. The group of 18 Republicans, 17 Democrats and one independent — more than a third of the Senate — on Thursday urged the committee to identify $4 trillion in total reductions over the next decade. READ MORE.

Virginian Pilot: Warner-led Senate group urges deeper deficit cuts
U.S. Sens. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, and Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican, are spearheading a new effort by more than a third of the Senate to prod their colleagues on a deficit-cutting supercommittee to make a much larger dent in the deficit as well as changes to entitlement programs and tax laws. READ MORE.