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Co-Chairs Daniels, Panetta, & Penny Statement on Budget Agreement

For Immediate Release

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Co-Chairs Governor Mitch Daniels, Secretary Leon Panetta, and Congressman Tim Penny issued the following statement about the budget agreement reached this week by Congressional leaders and the White House:

Governor Daniels:

Our national debt has never been this high when the economy was this good, and instead of coming down as theory suggests, it’s headed for totally unprecedented, unsustainable levels and a tragic day of reckoning. It’s apparently futile to hope for positive leadership from today’s elected officials, but the least they could do is to stop making things worse.

Secretary Panetta:

During past bipartisan budget negotiations, leadership from both parties sat down and agreed that everything would be on the table. It was a long and tough process, but we reached truly bipartisan agreements that led to positive fiscal outcomes. Both sides this week so easily agreeing to fiscal defeat isn't bipartisanship, it is broken governance. A deal of this size rushed to passage in only a few days doesn't lead to responsible policy – it continues a cycle of governing by crisis and passing off the tough choices to the detriment of our nation. If Congress cannot fulfill its duty, then a new bipartisan commission should be formed with real enforcement abilities to deal with our nation’s fiscal challenges.

Representative Penny:

Following trillions added to the debt through unpaid-for tax cuts, lawmakers are now adding trillions more in spending increases all while scrapping a budget law meant to curb the unsustainable growth of our national debt. We need an agreement that deals with our trillion-dollar deficits, not one that pours fuel on them. It seems virtually all support for fiscal responsibility has evaporated in Washington, and the debt binge continues unabated.    

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget strongly encourages Congress to offset this budget agreement and pass a clean debt ceiling increase. We also recommend Congress form a bipartisan taskforce to deal with our mounting long-term debt and fiscal challenges.

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For more information, please contact Patrick Newton, press secretary, at newton@crfb.org.