December 09, 2010

Crapo: White House Meeting Spurs Momentum on Debt Discussions

Says Congressional leaders, Administration will continue fiscal reform efforts

Washington, D.C. - Following a meeting at the White House this morning, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo said he is confident that serious discussions to lower the national debt will continue now that the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has finished its work. A majority of Commission members, including Crapo, agreed to move forward with plans to reduce the national deficit, but the recommendations did not receive enough votes to mandate action by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The Co-Chairs of the Commission sought a follow-up meeting at the White House to ensure serious discussions about debt reduction would continue.

"I am encouraged by the non-partisan engagement of the commission members to continue to highlight the need for bold action to address our nation's calamitous fiscal picture," Crapo said following the meeting. "While we all have things we like and dislike in the commission's plan, each of us is committed to tackling the problem. We must reverse the explosion of federal spending, create a tax system that is pro-growth and encourages competitiveness, address long-term health care costs, and make Social Security solvent for future beneficiaries. The bipartisan plan unveiled by the commission last week is a strong step, but only a step, to making that a reality.

"Our meeting at the White House helped deliver the message to the Administration that inaction is no longer an option. The full and active engagement of the President is vital to success for any fiscal recovery plan. Secretary Geithner and Director Lew were gracious and constructive and demonstrated a recognition of the problems our nation faces. Members of Congress, from both the House and Senate and across the political spectrum, are ready to meet this challenge. Congress must take action on a plan that puts us back on a path to fiscal solvency," he added.

Crapo emphasized he did not agree with every aspect of the commission's final recommendations and prefers to see spending cuts as a means to reduce the debt rather than tax increases. He has opposed plans to raise taxes on any American as the debate continues in the Senate over extending tax relief passed in 2001 and 2003.