Dozens of lawmakers in both parties have signed a letter to congressional leaders that says a bipartisan agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff should include “a long-term, comprehensive deficit reduction plan.”
Leading the effort are Representatives Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho). The group also put together a meeting last Wednesday with members of the Fix the Debt campaign, including Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who co-chaired the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
As of early this week, according to Cooper's office, about 77 members of Congress had signed the letter.
“To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table,” the letter says. “ We also know from other bipartisan frameworks that savings from all parts of the budget and real reform of the tax system will be necessary to stabilize our debt as a share of the economy and assure America’s fiscal and economic well-being over the long term.”
Cooper, LaTourette, Shuler and Simpson were among the 38 lawmakers who received The Concord Coalition’s 2012 Paul E. Tsongas Economic Patriot Award for their support of legislation earlier this year that would have followed through on recommendations from a majority of the Simpson-Bowles commission.