Walz, Peterson sign up for 'all options' on budget deal in Congress
October 27, 2011 — 6:01pm
At least two Minnesota DFLers have signed on to a letter urging Congress’ budget “supercommittee” to think big as it considers ways to slash the federal deficit.
Rural Democrats Tim Walz and Collin Peterson confirmed Thursday that they are signing the letter, which is making the rounds in the U.S. House as a show of bipartisan force for some kind of a budget deal aimed at $4 trillion in deficit reduction.
The letter, spearheaded by Republican Mike Simpson of Idaho and Democrat Heath Shuler of North Carolina, is framed in language that suggests both program cuts and tax increases.
A copy, obtained by the Star Tribune, reads in part: “To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table. In addition, we know from other bipartisan frameworks that a target of some $4 trillion in deficit reduction is necessary to stabilize our debt as a share of the economy and assure America’s fiscal well-being.”
The committee, known formally as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, has a Thanksgiving deadline to reach a budget deal or face automatic across-the-board reductions beginning in 2013.
Amid various competing proposals from Republican and Democratic leaders, nearly 100 rank-and-file lawmakers have signed the letter, according to one knowledgeable congressional source.
Here is the entire text:
We write to you as a bipartisan group of representatives from across the political spectrum in the belief that the success of your committee is vital to our country’s future. We know that many in Washington and around the country do not believe we in the Congress and those within your committee can successfully meet this challenge. We believe that we can and we must.
To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table. In addition, we know from other bipartisan frameworks that a target of some $4 trillion in deficit reduction is necessary to stabilize our debt as a share of the economy and assure America’s fiscal well-being.
Our country needs our honest, bipartisan judgment and our political courage. Your committee has been given a unique opportunity and authority to act. We are prepared to support you in this effort.
Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he'd be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.
Other business groups like realtors, electric utility Xcel Energy Services, private colleges, tobacco giant Altria, Polymet Mining, health insurers and hospitals contributed to the overall total of $57.7 million to lobby the Legislature, the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton and Metro municipal governments.