December 13th, 2009
01:45 PM ET
3 months ago

Virginia Dem backs commission to deal with federal budget

On State of the Union Sunday, Sens. Warner and Thune discussed a proposal for a bipartisan commission that make budgetary recommendations to Congress.
On State of the Union Sunday, Sens. Warner and Thune discussed a proposal for a bipartisan commission that make budgetary recommendations to Congress.

Washington (CNN) – A freshman Democratic senator said Sunday that he supports a proposal that would create a bipartisan commission intended to help Congress control federal spending and borrowing.

Last week, the top Democrat and top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee introduced legislation that would create a bipartisan task force charged with making recommendations to Congress for reining in runaway spending that threatens to overwhelm the federal budget. Specifically, the commission would suggest ways to curb spending growth, especially in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and to boost tax revenue.

The proposed commission would include members of Congress from both parties along with representatives of the administration. Once the commission submitted its recommendations to Congress, Congress would then have to vote yes or no to the commission's suggestions without filibustering or amending them.

Related: Leading senators call for fiscal commission

Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, who also sits on the Senate Budget Committee, said Sunday that he supports the proposal.

“On a longer term, I actually believe this process [of federal spending] has totally got out of control,” Warner said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“I came from being a governor where we actually had to balance our books each year,” Warner explained.

In the long term, Warner said he believed the only way Congress would be able to get spending under control is through the bipartisan commission proposed last week by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, and Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire.”

“Democrats and Republicans [should] come together, go ahead and put revenues and spending both out there and then come back and vote it straight up and down,” Warner said, in much the same way Congress handles the sticky political issue of closing military bases across the country.

“I don’t see how this process where everybody kind of lards on is going to actually ever come to an end unless we finally have the discipline to do a straight up or down vote across the board,” Warner also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

“This is a moment of crisis” that requires both parties to put partisanship aside, Warner also said Sunday.

Asked whether his party would support the idea of a partisan budgetary commission, Republican Sen. John Thune was noncommittal.

“Most would support the commission process,” Thune said Sunday on State of the Union. “It doesn’t mean that Republicans would vote for what the commission recommends.”

Earlier on State of the Union, one of President Obama’s top economic advisers said Obama is open to approaches that will achieve the ultimate goal of controlling the federal budget deficit.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, have both expressed reservations about the commission proposal introduced last week by Sens. Conrad and Gregg.


Filed under: Mark Warner • State of the Union
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. intended to help Congress control federal spending and borrowing

    If I thought this had some hope of really making a difference than go for it

    but in the end it is another layer of government

    How Clinton managed the feat that he did, actually paying down the debt at any amount, is amazing

    maybe Hillary is the answer

    December 13, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Bev

    Based on the results of the Virginia elections this past November-–it is wise of this Democrat to side with the Republicans.

    Obama and the Democrats have now lost Virginia for good--and the only hope of any Democrats in Virginia-–is to be on the same side as Republicans in regard to most issues.

    Virginia voters made it quite clear in the November elections-–they do NOT support the policies/agenda of Obama and the Democrats!!

    I am quite sure.........In the 2010 elections, Virginia voters will make their voices/opinions VERY clear as well regarding Obama and the policies/agenda of the Democrats!!

    December 13, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. B

    Yeah right...We can certainly see where bipartisanship is getting us with Healthcare RIGHT ?

    The Republicans are totally destructive to any reform and openly admit that they do not want healthcare or the President to succeed.

    The people will not forget this come 2010 and in 2012 !

    December 13, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |