(WASHINGTON, DC) - Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) Thursday joined a bipartisan coalition of 34 senators and announced that they will encourage the members of the congressional "super committee" to seek a larger plan to address the nation's deficits and debt.
"For months, I have been saying that a credible deficit reduction plan must include at least $4 trillion in spending cuts over a decade and a commitment to restructure entitlement programs and reform the tax code," said Coats. "The coalition of 34 senators from both parties is a strong sign that there is growing support for this type of bold plan."
The Budget Control Act, which was signed into law in August, created a bipartisan, bicameral 12-member panel appointed to identify $1.5 trillion in budget savings over 10 years. However, the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force ("Domenici-Rivlin"), the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform ("Simpson-Bowles"), the Senate "Gang of Six," and economists from both sides of the aisle have concluded that any meaningful and comprehensive solution should achieve at least $4 trillion in debt reduction to reassure the financial markets, restore public confidence and create the foundation for long-term economic growth.
In a press conference today, Senator Coats urged the super committee to include pro-growth tax reform as part of a deficit reduction plan.
"This committee has very little time to do what they need to do," said Coats. "Since taking office, I have worked with Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on reforming the tax code to make it fairer, simpler and more competitive. I believe tax reform is the key to economic growth and I am committed to working with the super committee on a path forward for Congress to overhaul the tax code."
The bipartisan group of 34 senators, representing more than one-third of the members of the U.S. Senate, agreed to the following statement of principles, which will be shared with members of the super committee:
"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."
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