Dozens of lawmakers in both parties have signed a letter saying that a successful agreement to avoid the "fiscal cliff" should include a long-term comprehensive plan for deficit reduction, and additional signatures are being collected. Leading the effort are Representatives Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).
The text of the letter:
Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and Leader McConnell:We write to you as a bipartisan group of representatives from across the political spectrum in the belief that a successful bipartisan agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff” must include a long-term, comprehensive deficit reduction plan. Reaching a deal is vital to our country’s future. We know that there have been divisions in the past about how best to solve this challenge, but we approach you today with one simple message: we support a bipartisan common sense solution. To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table. 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. Our country needs honest, thoughtful leaders with the political courage to solve this issue once and for all. You have the unique opportunity and authority to achieve this, and we support your efforts as you do so.