On Monday Fix the Debt hosted a media briefing introducing members of its new Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council, comprised of a bipartisan group of former lawmakers who will urge the President and Congressional leaders to prioritize the forging of a comprehensive debt deal in the weeks and months to come. Watch video of the event here.
On the eve of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the briefing offered a look at the “State of the Debt.” There was a great deal of consensus among the group that a lot more needs to be done to get the national debt under control and that it is an economic imperative to address the debt in a smart, long-term manner.
Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) said that those who deny the debt is a problem have a “fantasy view of the world.” Former Senate Budget Committee Chair Kent Conrad (D-ND) stated that the “economic future of the country is at stake.”
There was also widespread agreement that a balanced, comprehensive approach that deals with all parts of the budget and is phased in over time is needed. In addition, speakers urged the President to make an appeal for bipartisan debt action in the State of the Union address.
Former House Budget Committee Chair Jim Nussle (R-IA) mentioned that while the group may be former lawmakers, they are “current citizens” who have a deep interest in seeing the debt adequately addressed. He also noted that the membership of the group is currently 83 members and growing.
An updated brief from our partner, the Committee for a Responsible Federal budget (CRFB), illustrates how much work remains to be done. The paper calculates that a minimum of $2.4 trillion in additional deficit reduction over the next decade is required to put the debt as a share of the economy on a downward path over the long haul. Read the summary here.