Senators say bipartisan plan necessary to avoid economic disaster
July 30th, 2011
07:19 PM ET
3 years ago

Senators say bipartisan plan necessary to avoid economic disaster

Washington (CNN) -– Three senators from across the spectrum of ideological positions said Saturday that a bipartisan debt ceiling deal was necessary in order to prevent economic crisis.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat; Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican; and Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican associated with the tea party, all said they were willing to work with members of the opposite party to strike a deal. Yet all three offered different specifics when it came to plans.

“We're still trying to compromise and many in the media are trying to depict us that we're not,” Paul told CNN’s Don Lemon. “We have offered up on the floor another chance to compromise. I said I'll vote for the Reid bill, I'll vote for the entire $2 trillion that the president wants so he can avoid talking about this during his campaigning.”

Paul specified he was offering to vote for the Reid proposal if it added provisions for an amendment to the Constitution that required a balanced budget.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the bipartisan plan offered by the “gang of six” was an example of something that members of both parties could agree upon.

“Let's make sure we get a vote on something that is comprehensive, that's bipartisan,” Warner said. “That's the only thing we're asking or at least I'm asking for. A third of the Senate says hey, if not the ‘gang of six’ plan, let's do something else that's comprehensive.”

Warner is a member of the “gang of six,” a group of three Democrats and three Republicans who have offered a debt ceiling plan. He said he was still hopeful that plan would get a vote in the Senate.

“It can't be a Democrat or Republican plan only,” Warner said. “I look around this town, the ‘gang of six’ plan is the only plan in this city that has a third of the Senate saying let's go forward with that framework. I hope at the end of the day that gets a vote.”

Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican senator from Ohio, said that the two plans coming from the House and the Senate were not far apart, and that reconciling them was critical in preventing an economic crisis.

“I think there's an agreement now that there has to be real and credible reductions in spending,” Portman said on CNN. “If you look at the Boehner proposal compared to the Reid proposal, there's some similarities. I'm hopeful we can come together.”

Portman said the consequences of allowing the United States to default on its debts would be grave.

“Americans would be hurt,” Portman said. “Anyone who borrows, people who have car loans and student loans and credit card debt. Mortgages would be going up. Interest rates going up make it harder for small businesses to create jobs and opportunities. So this is of serious concern.”


Filed under: Mark Warner • Rand Paul • Rob Portman
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. mm

    okay so get it done! and no balanced budget amendment - vote on that separately, it will take too long to get passed by all the states.

    July 30, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. disgrace to america

    when the debt bill is finally signed then its back to the real problem america has been without a president for three years and the country is in a depression that is now out of control...

    July 30, 2011 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. marty

    Ever since the tragedy of 9/11, there seems to be an absence of thought/intelligence where major decisions for our country have been initiated. The Iraq war was the beginning of super spin, inferences (political correct word for lies), followed by economic disasters such as Leyman bros and Wall street , No child left behind and the prescription drug bill. All were either nonfunded or underfunded. Now, many of these same inept legislators are holding Americans hostage while childishly demanding cuts in everything except the entitlements of the very wealthy, big business and corporations. Those holding the country hostage should be investigated thoroughly and possibly impeached.

    July 30, 2011 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  4. dave

    The gang of six sounds so communistic. It's almost as bad as the idiot that coined the phrase so commonly preached by the republicans " we want to grow the economy ", Spoken like a bunch of hayseed farmers.

    July 30, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. No Hope; Just Fighting

    Wow, why couldn't this be done weeks ago? Maybe it was because Paul and his fellow tea party republicans are finally seeing that the 2012 election is going to be very, very ugly for them. All of a sudden they want to powwow with the other party and seek compromise and are saying no one wants to see normal americans get hurt. A week ago they all could have cared less. They better watch it or the loonies in the tea party will start taking their long range rifles at them. They might need some protection after this announcement.

    July 30, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. Douglas Chick

    Incumbant Crime against America!!!
    This countries’ debit did not suddenly jump up and surprise Washington overnight, they have been bankrupting the United States for decades; so why the sudden concern? What lobby is threatening to lay-off congressmen?

    July 30, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  7. Richard

    I pray that someone will run for office with the WISDOM, HONOR and TRUTHFULNESS to lead this great nation. Everyone we have now puts their own political ambitions above the needs of the nation. Dems and Reps have spent beyond our means for decades and now it is time to pay the bill, so PAY the bill. THEN STOP SPENDING!!!!!

    July 30, 2011 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  8. S. Winkler

    The Pres. should go home and get a good night sleep- he`s said all he has to say- Congress should give him something that he can sign- This country is sick of this whole mess and I, for one, don`t care what happens. Congress is full of hot air. Do something that makes sense or cause a default. Phooey on all of you!

    July 30, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  9. fairtrade

    The media is just printing and publishing what the politicians say. When both party leaders say the other party isn't negotiating then who is not telling the truth. The politicians or the media?

    July 30, 2011 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. Arran Webb

    I need a cheap car, a flimsy house and consumer items that date quickly. Also bad mass produced food loaded with fat and preservatives. I need a second rate education for my kids and healthcare that threatens to bankrupt my budget every month simply so that I can keep my flimsy house if that "major health issue" comes at my family. I need to covet middle class values so that I can think that I am doing better than I am. Hey I have all that! I am one of the lucky ones.

    July 30, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. Ilene

    All I can say is....you people had better fix this! And fix this so it's best for the average citizens of this county...not the corporations or the uber rich. Co-operate and meet somewhere in the middle. If not...I suggest you familiarize yourselves with unemployment forms.

    July 30, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. Mike

    Democrats and moderate Republicans need to form an informal coalition to block out the Tea Party – put them on the margin. A compromise bill can be passed without them. If the Republicans fear for their electoral chances by such a move, well, isn't the economic security of the country worth that sacrifice? If this isn't a "Profiles in Courage" moment, what is?

    July 30, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  13. Bugaloo Jones

    We're screwed Canada looks like a good option now.

    July 30, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. Chris

    This is what happens when you vote these Extremist Right Wing Nut Teapublicans into office, and you would be a BIGGER FOOL if you vote for them again..

    July 30, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  15. Chris

    The problem is that you can't win a Republican primary these days unless you're a serious wing-nut. That's why the Republican party has become so extreme. You have to be willing to eat cyanide before you agree to a 3% tax increase on Charles Koch and Bill Gates. You have to believe (or pretend to believe) in absurd nonsense about "death panels". You have to refer to the president as a "Big Spending Socialist Conspirator". You have to believe that the President wasn't born in America (no matter what his birth certificate says). You have to apologize to BP after THEY destroy the Gulf. You must believe in the tea baggers GOD and to hell with everyone else in America. You must never question Grover Norquist, Charles Koch, or Rush Limbaugh. The problem is, folks from a culture like this aren't fit to govern. They can't compromise. Maybe they'd do okay in Iran, but not in the United States of America. Disaster and dysfunction is all that you get when voters reward extremism and punish civility and compromise.

    July 30, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  16. amarjit

    All citizens of America old & disabled, workers or unemployed all support bipartisan approach to avoid crash of American lives as well raise the debt ceiling to avoid default. National commitments always need long term policy, budget & provision to have long term strategic accomplishments in international & home market. President Obama had no choice to bailout industries & commercial institutions after take over from George Bush when the economy took sudden plunge but still supported the Bush cuts which were higher than aggregate of other total expenditures. It is logical & correct to support Democratic concept rather than Republic concept under shadow of Tea Party immixtures. International repute of commercial business has already been affected by shaky positions of Republican Party sitting on support of Tea Party & will take decades to stabilize their faith & confidence in more serious & emerging economies of the world & military power of China taking posture with a challenge to America after WW II..

    July 30, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  17. B Weinbaum

    Compromise and get a deal......NOW!

    July 30, 2011 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. Steve851

    We need a bipartisan plan with infelxible triggers based on tax increases and spending cuts. Nothing else is acceptable. Time for Congress to be responsible for a change. Obama is so spineless, he'll have no choice. He is challenging W for the worst president in my 63-year lifetime.

    July 30, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  19. DS

    Well at least we are Trading some sense from Republican is about time.

    July 30, 2011 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  20. tut's

    this is rediculous!
    Get this thing done.

    July 30, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Kevin T Baldwin

    Whenever votes are clearly divided along party lines it proves how these politicians continue to play political football with lives of Americans hanging in the balance. They should all hang their heads in shame. Don't hand us garbage about looking out for the "average American" when its obvious the only "average Americans" you care about are those idealogically aligned with your party. Fix our problems, not your parties.

    July 30, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  22. dorothyjohnson

    Whats going on with Us seniors they are cutting our medicare and our social security why

    July 30, 2011 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  23. matrix09

    Horse manure, all we need is a one sentence clean vote. This has nothing to do with bipartisanism, it has to do with economic blackmail and economic terrorism. The republicans trying to get through blackmail what the could not get throug negotiation.

    July 30, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  24. JohnRJohnson

    Rand Paul, in a CNN interview today with Don Lemon, said he was more than willing to compromise and vote for Senator Reid's plan. Of course, that would ONLY be if Dems agreed to one little amendment - requiring that the budget be balanced in 7 years. Of course, Paul doesn't say what he would cut to achieve that, which is why nobody would support it. Compromise doesn't mean asking for the impossible in return for your vote.

    July 30, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  25. Alan

    I cant believe that the republicans do not want to raise taxes on their whealthy friends. It doesnt make sense why the republicans will not make the government work.

    July 30, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
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