WASHINGTON - The Concord Coalition today commended the Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats in the House of Representatives for going on the record with a set of benchmarks for comprehensive fiscal reform and urging that all options be kept on the table, including both spending cuts and revenue increases. “We congratulate the Blue Dogs for joining the bipartisan group of 64 Senators in focusing the fiscal discussion not just on the budget for this year or next, but on the serious long-term challenges confronting the nation,” said Robert L. Bixby, Concord’s executive director. “Moreover, they recognize, as did the President's bipartisan fiscal commission, that no serious discussion of fiscal solutions can begin with one side insisting that its priorities must be exempted from scrutiny.” In a recent letter to President Obama, the 64 senators committed themselves to comprehensive fiscal reform, using the fiscal commission’s recommendations as a starting point for discussion. As Concord said in response to this letter, it is crucial that House members also commit themselves to such discussions aimed at achieving long-term fiscal sustainability. “The Blue Dog benchmarks,” Bixby said, “acknowledge our huge fiscal challenge and push a comprehensive approach that sets targets for long-term debt stabilization and the policy choices required to achieve them.” Concord hopes that the Blue Dogs will be the first of many coalitions in the House, along with the Obama administration, to join in committing themselves to comprehensive fiscal reform because only then will conditions be fully ripe for broad-based negotiations to begin.
The Concord Coalition is a national, grassroots organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Former U.S. Senators Warren B. Rudman (R-NH) and Bob Kerrey (D-NE) serve as its co-chairsand former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Peter G. Peterson serves as president. For more information, visit www.concordcoalition. org .