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. Proud American

    As I understand it, a lot of our US budget woes are due to things beyond our control. I'm pretty sure GW Bush didn't expect us to be attacked on Sept 11, 2001. Didn't expect Katrina either. Lots of federal dollars were spent, but not quickly. We went to war in Afghanistan in defense of our country. We went to war in Iraq, payout of tax dollars from our budget. Even if you haven't been personally touched, let's not forget news headlines over the past few years...tornado, wildfire, flood and drought disasters are happening everyday- right here at home, in the USA....I worry that putting a cap on our budget will slow us down in being able to respond to being attacked, or helping survivirs in a natural disaster.
    I'm not on any public assistance, but many people I know are. HUD, Food Stamps, Unemployment. Disability. It is a fragile lifeline, and they don't have any real hope if their benefits are drasticly cut. Cutting assistance to people already hard pressed to survive seems kind of barbaric to me- I have always believed that we live in a great nation. We need our representitive to do what is best for our country.
    I think it's important to think about these things. A big cut in spending is due, but don't cut lifelines. Think about it- you may need a lifeline sometime in the future of not alreadt. Many people I know are on the edge financially. How will we deal with a US Humanitarian crisis in the face of "Sorry 'bout your luck" politics? Is ther a plan for those people ?

    July 30, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    No pay to Cogress until they pass a budget

    July 30, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  3. k

    Fascinating – a lot of consensus from centrists, even one member "associated with tea party"and yet paralysis.

    July 30, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  4. Christine Walsh

    every single day of our lives we have to work with republicans and democrats and blacks and whites and catholics and protestants. we are teachers and construction workers and baseball players and actors. and every single day we have to move beyond our personal prejudices to achieve our goals.

    what makes you so different??? republican's get over the special interests and thinking big business will solve all ills and democrats move beyond allowing anyone to get a free ride.

    work together and resolve this issue and all other issues for God Sakes!!!

    July 30, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  5. Nate (Seattle, WA)

    The opinions in this piece come from Mark Warner, a conservative Democrat from a red state, Rob Portman, a Republican, and Ron Paul, a Republican extremist (note to CNN: the Tea Party is a subset of the Republican party).

    Sorry, but somehow this doesn't seem like a well-rounded panel. If all three of them are for anything, then you know it means some sellout plan where there isn't a single dime of tax increases for the rich. Or, as Ron Paul calls them, the "job creators".

    July 30, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  6. Hank

    It is a tautology to state that any solution must be bipartisan. Obviously, with the way the legislature is constituted at the present time, any legislation will need Republican and Democratic votes to pass. Unfortunately when either side says compromise, they mean you need to agree with me.

    July 30, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  7. Michael

    I always find it funny that people act as if the only reason we're in this mess is because of spending, when the reality is that big part of this mess is the huge tax cuts that were given in 2001 and 2003. It just shows the stupidity of this country when people can only see one side of a problem instead of the whole thing.

    July 30, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  8. Dennis, MIllbrae, CA

    Bipartisan action?!? What a profound and revolutionary idea! No wonder this country is in such deep doo-doo if this is the level of intelligence we have in the Senate.

    July 30, 2011 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  9. Fulkth

    "I'll vote for the entire $2 trillion that the president wants so he can avoid talking about this during his campaigning.” – Ran Paul

    That is the problem right there, that all these politicians only care about getting reelected and other politicians campaigns instead of caring for the U.S. and its people.

    July 30, 2011 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  10. af

    Bravo President Obama to ask for a Bipartisant Bill to become law, that is the kind of leadership American people need. A bipartisant bill is the key to avoid a crisis. Republican and Democrat need to work head -to-head like brothers to solve problem not like dogs and Cast.
    Thanks Mr President to call for a bipartisant bill

    July 31, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  11. Bob

    I think that the decade of pain that would be caused by a default would be worth it if it killed the myth that the right wing have about small government and low taxes.

    July 31, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  12. Jose Mariani Rosa

    It is extreamly important that Washington folks understand the effect that to not work out a good plan will hurt our nation and the world. Some may not think that people on SS matter or people of low income and that all should be done away withand that will fix it. Well lets look at history shall we. Many did not care to take a full look at HIV/AIDS when it seficed in our back or front yard so we did nothing much. So look what has happined some 25 yrs after. People need to know clearly if you think we have issues now keep playing games and then you will see how ugly things get. Think to yourself for everyone who has had an elderly parent or sickly family member whos only means of living is SS health care is Medicare or low income housing to not have help. We where working people. We just got old or sick. Was that a crime hope not becaouse everyone time to get here will come. What changes for us changes for all. God Bless this great land I so love.

    July 31, 2011 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  13. PAUL

    I hope the gang of 6 plan come to a vote. It seems the most realistic plan of them all. It takes care of the deficit with cutting spending and additional revenue through getting rid of tax breaks and lowering the tax rates.

    July 31, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  14. thomas

    How much is the total amount the USA gives to foreign countries in military and economic aide ?

    Is it true that Apple computer company is worth more them the US government on paper ?

    Dose anybody know ?

    Mac vs PC

    July 31, 2011 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  15. marilyn white

    i think senator reids plan will work. in the first place there should be no reason for social security to ever be touched for any reason. let the senators and congressmen take pay cuts and see how they like it !

    July 31, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  16. rw

    I'm getting pretty fed up with ultra-conservative republicans in congress.

    July 31, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  17. azezel

    It is sad and regrettable that the tea party may be doing the right thing for the nation. Hyperinflation would be more devastating to the human ethic than a downgrade. The teaparty platform is at best 40% correct. Because they are doing something right then by natural coarse they will have a seat at the table. Now the demoncrats and repugs are about half right in opposite directions. We can't spend our way out, we can't cut our way out, we can't purely rely on future growth to cover this, we can't stick someone else with the tab but under current trends the tab is too heavy for the current generation coming of age to handle. I have already come to terms with the idea that I will not see social security. I do my best not to ask too much of the state. I would rather deal with alittle insecurity than have to see the problems a fiscally unsustainable state would cause.
    It is hard to make a budget with fuel prices fluctuating, with the cost of money going everywhere and with several key sectors in free fall. With all these disasters and with no honest accounting anywhere because everyone is covering their rears and hoping for the best.
    MNRs could provide several decades of fuel stability and greatly reduce the pollution involved in extraction. They can also provide the surplus energy required to handle the repair costs and also allow them to be handled in a way the labor force can absorb. While at the same time paving the way for a legacy economy. A MNR lease fleet could also provide added incentives for countries to stay in dollars and to make for regulations that would make the basket of regional reserve scripts with the dollar as the reserve universal script or one world currency close to sound money. Did I mention the waste heat could be used for Producing clean water and pumping it to be used for cities and irrigation. As well as providing ways to access lower grades of natural resources for extraction?

    July 31, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  18. Anyone But Obama

    So why didn't the President and the Democrats argue for a bipartisan approach for healthcare reform? Hypocritical?

    July 31, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  19. Jim

    It seems that the US is being held hostage to a small group of people associated with the tea party. It would only make sense that Democrats and traditional Republicans get together on a compromise that they can both agree to and leave the tea party memebers out of the discussion. This way there would be enough of both parties to get a positive vote. As long as the tail (tea party) is wagging the dog (traditional Republicans), we can't get a positive outcome.

    July 31, 2011 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  20. ksomerville@somervillepartners.com

    Why not cut foreign aid? We send Israel 5 billion per YEAR and somewhat less to the Palestinians and Pakistanis. This should all go. Particularly the aid ti Israel, a first world country.

    July 31, 2011 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  21. chris

    It's Republicans who keep referring to Social Security and Medicare as "entitlements."

    It's Republicans who in 2010 riled up all the seniors with talk of "Death Panels" and that the Democrats were trying to take away their Medicare – and told them you better vote for the GOP to protect you. And then the moment their party gains the majority in the House, they all back Cantor's plan that would effectively gut Medicare.

    It's the Republicans who demanded that massive cuts be made to Social Security and Medicare to balance the budget, all the while point blank refusing even to consider ending all the loopholes, corporate welfare, and "temporary" tax breaks for the rich.

    It's the Republicans who sponsor the Cut, Cap, and Balance as a backdoor excuse to be able to demolish the Social Security and Medicare programs.

    It's the Repbulicans who for decades have made it clear that they find the Social Security and Medicare programs an anathema to their ideology and have tried repeatedly to destory them.

    And it has been the Democrats who for decades have protected those programs. In the budget deal, Obama offered some cuts to SS and MediCare to try appease the Republicans, because he knows in order to compromise both sides must make sacrifices. Except the Republicans' idea of "compromise" means when their side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they want.

    It's Congress, under control of the Republicans, who set the budget. And they decide how the money gets distributed. The President simply has the power to veto it. So when asked if the government defaults will people on Social Secuirty get their checks? – he told the truth and said probably not. That's just how the system was set up by others than himself.

    It's the Repbulicans in control of the House who knew that debt ceiling needed to be dealt with. But delayed for months before addressing it, so they could foster a crisis and then exploit the last minute deadline to push through their own agenda.

    So now all the Right Wingers are ranting that if you don't get your Social Security check, it's all Obama's fault.

    July 31, 2011 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  22. JESSICA ROSS

    I just don't understand what America has come to. We use to be the country where everyone wanted to come to in order to live the American dream. Now, it's a nightmare. While the people in congress refuse to compromise, its everyday citizens that's suffering. They go home everyday not worried about how this or that is going to get paid paid because they have it to pay, but what about me. Every decision that is made effects how my life is going to go. I f I'm going to have a job to go to tomorrow or not. So what ever high horse that congress is on they need to come down and think about the families that are being effected . The only thing I here is I, I ,I no mention to us and what we need and that's a stable government. How can one even entertain the idea of cutting out social security something that some people work for their whole life and have invested their time and sweat into it and now their thinking about taking it away. If that's not selfish i don't know what is. They can give tax breaks to people who already have money but take more money from the one's who don't. that's not acceptable. I truly believe that the government is trying to re-write their wrong. After years and years and years of back door deals, unnecessary spending, and stealing it has caught up with them and now their trying to place the blame. Every time you put the finger at one person you have three pointing back at you.

    July 31, 2011 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  23. Mark Taylor

    Bipartisanship... what a concept. Let's read what our beloved George Washington had to say about partisanship in his Farewell Address. Washington's warnings have come to manifest themselves much like a pernicious, terminal disease in our system and make no mistake, they will destroy our system of government if it isn't stopped and soon. Stopping this MUST begin with you and me and the electorate:

    "It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration....agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one....against another....it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption...thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another."

    July 31, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  24. clarke

    What a noval idea.

    July 31, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  25. Don

    I cant believe the debt issue has gone this far. I guess that's what happens when a bunch of idiots are running a country

    July 31, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
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