U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said there is a new reason to hope for a deficit reduction plan that senators from both sides of the aisle can get behind.
“This plan could be the way out of all the angry rhetoric coming from both sides,” Enzi said after emerging from a bi-partisan meeting of about 50 senators Tuesday. “I’m sure there is not 100 percent agreement on all the decisions, but they realize that something has to be done. It sounds like a positive effort at a passable solution. I won’t be able to make a decision on it until I have read the bill, but I’m optimistic in light of the outline and explanation I’ve seen. I’m very much looking forward to studying the details.”
Enzi said the group’s plan provides “balance”, but emphasized that balance is not the same as compromise.
“Compromise implies that you only make it half way to where either side wants to go. Balance says that they looked for the best of both sides and agreed on a combined plan that works together,” Enzi said. “I’m also hopeful this plan will empower congressional committees once again to play the vital role they should play in budget and all legislative matters. Committees know the best ways to find savings in the areas of their jurisdiction.”
The group is led by Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Mark Warner, D-Va., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Kent Conrad, D-N.D. and Tom Coburn, R-Okla. The group plans to release details of its legislative proposal soon, but it is largely based on the work of the deficit commission headed by former Wyoming GOP Senator Alan Simpson and leading Democrat Erskine Bowles.
“The deficit commission led by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles did a marvelous job in a very limited amount of time. The President in his State of the Union speech should have praised the debt commission’s work and emphasized the urgency of the problem. That would have set the groundwork for a budget that reflected the commission’s work. Those opportunities came and went, however. Fortunately, this group kept working on a joint solution,” Enzi said.