Thursday, January 21, 2010

Letters From The Senator

Senator Warner (D-VA) sent me an email about his Op-Ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. I honestly don't know how I feel about this. Needs more thought.

[Sen. Warner] joined a bipartisan group of senators and representatives, including Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf [a Republican], in co-sponsoring legislation to create a commission on federal budget and entitlement reform.

We are calling for creation of a bipartisan task force that will make sweeping budget and revenue recommendations to be presented to Congress, with no amendments allowed, for a simple up-or-down vote. [I don't like "sweeping" recommendations; I do like simple up-or-down vote without amendments.]

As we've seen in the current health care debate, legislative deal-making too often allows parochial and political considerations to trump the national interest. [Parochial as in "religious", or as in "narrow, local"? How do we determine the "national interest" exactly?]

That's why I believe this Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action could serve as the basis for a new process to tackle this fiscal challenge.

Everything would be on the table, including spending and revenues. We can't solve this challenge by looking at only one side of the ledger. [Ya think?]

The task force recommendations would be considered by Congress under expedited procedures with a "yes" or "no" vote required. [Okay ...]

Most important, the task force approach would ensure a bipartisan outcome. A supermajority of the task force members would have to agree to adopt the recommendations, and congressional approval would require supermajorities in both the Senate and House. [How is a task force membership any different than sitting on a House or Senate Committee? How do you decide who gets to be on the task force?]

This is the only way needed changes are going to be adopted and maintained over time.

No one party can or will do this on its own. Both parties must be invested in the outcome and committed to its success.

Today, our nation's economic strength and vitality is at stake. Leaders on both sides of the aisle in Congress need to join in this effort to demonstrate they are serious about solving the problem together so that we can once again return our nation to a responsible fiscal path. [We could have used a little fiscal restraint during TARP, the stimulus, and the health care bill. No use talking about being wise about the borrowed 5 bucks that the nation has left, once the entire Treasury has been spent.]

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