Washington D.C.- Thursday morning, Reps. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Robert Dold (R-Ill.), Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) held a press conference to call for bi-partisan action before the US Government falls of the “fiscal cliff.”
LaTourette, a moderate Republican who recently announced his retirement, told reporters that a modified version of the Simpson-Bowles debt plan is ready to drop immediately after the November election. The original Simpson-Bowles plan resulted from President Obama's debt commission and called for entitlement reforms, some spending cuts and an increase of revenue. LaTourette explained this modified version would include changes to medicare in addition to other cuts contained in the original bill. The bill was drafted by outside fiscal groups and lawmakers.
The bipartisan group is withholding the plan at the request of their congressional colleagues who would prefer the issue be addressed after the election. The current climate of political campaigning would make it difficult for parties to come together, as the candidates are trying to distinguish themselves along partisan lines.
LaTourette, who cited partisan bickering as one reason he resigned from congress, urged the the parties to come together to address the debt problem saying "This is not something we can put off." Dold, Bass and Lipinski, echoed LaTourette's sentiments. Congressman Lipinksi said the time has come to "put it all on the table." The Congressmen each urged their colleagues to return to their districts and consider the seriousness of our financial situation, emphasizing that it is time to Republicans and Democrats to work together.
Brian Baker, President of the non-partisan group Ending Spending, supported the bi-partisan group's efforts. “We applaud Congressmen Bass, Dold, LaTourette, and Lipinski for their courage and willingness to address, before Congress adjourns for summer recess, one of the most critical economic issues of our time – our nation’s runaway debt. We need more leaders in Washington who are willing to work side by side to support true fiscal reforms and get our country moving again on the right track.”
Earlier this week, Ending Spending distributed a book to all House and Senate Offices, titled The Fiscal Cliff: How America Can Avoid a Fall and Stay on Top. The book was written by two well-known economists from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.