Warner proposes option No. 2 for deficit deal
November 13th, 2011
11:35 AM ET
11 years ago

Warner proposes option No. 2 for deficit deal

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Mark Warner offered an alternative solution to the deficit negotiations Sunday if the so-called “super committee” fails to reach an agreement before the impending deadline.

The Virginia Democrat, who served as a member of the so-called “Gang of Six” senators that attempted to reach a comprehensive deficit deal earlier this year, said he hopes the “super committee” succeeds.

If not, he suggested a vote by Congress on one of two plans worked out by either the “Gang of Six” or a deficit commission appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010 that was headed by former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, a Republican, and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat.

Both plans pushed by Warner call for around $4 trillion in deficit reduction by a combination of spending cuts, tax increases and reforms to entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

"If they're not successful, we think that the Simpson-Bowles approach or the ‘Gang of Six’ - something that has got that $4 trillion number - that ought to get a vote as well," Warner said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Warner said a final agreement will need to include revenues and entitlement reform to ensure the solvency of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for future generations.

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who also was a “Gang of Six” member, said despite political pressure on the left, entitlement reform is vital. The Oklahoma lawmaker pointed to television commercials from groups like AARP encouraging members of Congress not to reform Medicare.

“Well, I want to tell you, we’re going to touch Medicare because there’s no way we can borrow the money five years from now to run Medicare the way it is today,” Coburn told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

The 12-member "super committee," equally divided between House and Senate Democrats and Republicans, was created as part of the debt ceiling deal earlier this year. It has until November 23 to reach an agreement on at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction measures over the next decade.

While Republicans continue to push for entitlement reforms, Democrats say any solution must be balanced with increased tax revenue.

Warner said it is inevitable that any deal produced by the panel will anger both political parties. Under the legislation that set up the committee, seven of its 12 members can pass an agreement that then goes to an up-or-down vote in Congress with no amendments allowed.

“You’ll know this super committee is getting close if you hear folks on both sides of the political extreme scream the loudest because that will show that there’s actually movement being made,” Warner said.

Also see:

Top Senate Democrat belittles 'phony' GOP tax concessions

First step on tax increases by Republicans

Durbin: GOP proposal on tax increases could be 'breakthrough'

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Deficit commission • Mark Warner • Tom Coburn • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The republicans always are willing to include entitlement reform, but refuse to raise taxes on those who can most afford it. As long as there are republicans, there will be class warfare against the middle class and poor people.

    November 13, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    Sen. Tom Coburn, mention AARP commercials but he didn’t mention Oil companies commercials that they want to protect the taxpayer subsidies (4 billion per year)

    President Obama , House speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid didn’t do their duties and they couldn’t so they formed super committee to drag the time

    November 13, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Face it, Bush and the republicans put our country so far in the hole, that it will take years, and sensible leadership to get us out of it. I remember people telling me that anybody would be better than Gore in 2000, and look what we got, and the mess that "W" left us in.

    November 13, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    What is truly amazing is that GOP baggers can walk without stepping on their knuckles.

    November 13, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. jack

    You know, I don't think you'll hear all that much howling from democrats about medicare cuts IF there are substantial revenue increases, mainly on the wealthy, in exchange. Very few who actually pay attention dispute that medicare/medicaid need changes. Even SSN, which is not part of the deficit *really* can be adjusted. SSN needs much lest adjusting to "fix" if it's done now rather than later. So, in the end I think dems will be just fine as long as taxes on the wealthy are brought into line with where they were 20 years ago.

    November 13, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitch MCCONNELL said this “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

    After this Do any one believe super committee work no

    I totally disagree that “ We don’t see president’s fingerprints” when its comes to deficit negotiations.

    November 13, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. david bidlack

    lets deal with the FACTS for once! entitements is the wrong word in sounds like giving something away that was paid for. social sucurity has nothing to do with the current deficit because it is still running in the black. the biggest joke played on the american people is the fact that in the late 1970s social saucurity taxes were raised to creat a suplus for baby boomers like me and congess plus fromer presidents have borrowed all of that suplus over the years like it was their piggy bank to use for other things. the I.O.U.s left in the account are now at $2.4 trillion most from borrowing by republicans like george bush jr. who borrowed $ 670 billion just in his last year in office. the reason that entitements are on the table is congress does not want to or can't pay back $2.4 trillion and needs to cover their tracks so the american people will never figure out what they did to the baby boomers retirement funds raised from increased taxes. for those who are rich and say that they don't like income redistrbution by all means injoy you tax cuts given to you by the republicans in 2002 because it basically is the retirement fund that the baby boomers paid for. the rich by the way stop paying social sucurity taxes witheld from their earnings when the reach $100,000 of income for the year and for alot of them thats less than 1 day!

    November 13, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. John

    It will be the Republican that mess thing up In this super committee , they won't agree on any rise In taxes again. Than the American People will have to pay for It again. Than they will lower America credit rating lower so the American people will have to pay more on this to. The Republican seam to have forgot that they took a oath when they took Office ,the only thing they are worry about are these Pledges they shouldn't have sign to begin with. No party should sign any Pledges to any special group of people. Maybe Listen to them but never sign any pledges, because you all ready took a oath and swear to It on a Bible. And all you Republican claim to be good Christian ,so this mean you shouldn't broke your oath of office.

    November 13, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |