Freshman senator calls for 'serious action' in Washington
January 12th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Freshman senator calls for 'serious action' in Washington

(CNN) - Sen. Deb Fischer, who was sworn into her first term just over a week ago, laid out a path for the Republican Party to follow through the debt limit and spending battles ahead in the next few months.

"These hardworking taxpayers are tired of petty 'beltway battles' and they're frustrated with the lack of progress from their elected leaders," the Nebraskan said in her party's weekly address.

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She urged Republicans to push for spending cuts as part of the upcoming debt ceiling debate.

"The president will soon ask Congress to raise the nation's debt limit - again," she said. "I believe we cannot agree to increase the borrowing limit without addressing our out-of-control spending. That's why Nebraskans sent me here. That's what the American people demand. And that's what our children and our grandchildren deserve."

The country hit the legal borrowing limit at the end of 2012, but the Treasury Department has employed so-called extraordinary measures to continue funding the government. But should Congress not act within weeks, the treasury could be without authority to pay the nation's bills.

Obama said in a statement after the fiscal cliff deal passed the House that he expected Congress to increase the debt ceiling without the haggling of the cliff debate.

"While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed," he said. "If Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic - far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff."

Fischer was elected to her seat following the retirement of Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, and included a balanced budget in her campaign platform.

"Rather than cutting wasteful spending, the federal government added $4 billion each day to our gross national debt. This path is not sustainable," she said in her address. "I support a more limited government that focuses on fulfilling its core duties and responsibilities. Only then can we identify the national priorities worthy of taxpayer funding."

The expensive but politically important entitlement programs, she said, should be on the table.

“It’s no secret that to cut spending, we must find ways to reduce the costs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid–the primary drivers of our national debt," she said. "We must do so in a way that keeps our promises to America’s seniors, retirees, and those nearing retirement age. That is not a point for debate. But in order to save these popular programs, we must reform them. If not, they will no longer exist for future generations and will bankrupt us in the meantime."

Filed under: Deb Fischer
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Dan

    After reading this, it is obvious that she has no new ideas and only repeated what all the rest of the republicans are saying. Always ready to cut scocial security and Medicare, but not a mention of defense cuts or tax breaks for big oil, she is just another one who does not listen to the majority of the American people that repubs always quote.

    January 12, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  2. Xavier

    Yet another tea party crazy... things will not end well for the republican party.

    January 12, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    Congress is horrible....

    January 12, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  4. Stephen in VA

    Why is this such a big deal–and only when there's a Democrat in the White House? When Bush was in office, there wasn't even any debate the numerous times the debt ceiling was raised. Now they make a big deal out of their apparent inability to see the difference between "what I'm going to spend next year" and "paying the bills I've already incurred."

    January 12, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. Bill from GA

    A clear example of why we need Harry Reid's filibuster reform.

    The idea that "we cannot agree to increase the borrowing limit without addressing our out-of-control spending." is what sent the recovery in a tailspin in the summer of 2011. The sooner we get the debt ceiling out of the way, the faster our recovery proceeds.

    Cut spending with the budget, but we must pay the bills we have incurred. How did Sen. Deb Fischer feel about the republican House passing a defense budget recently (December 2012) loaded with pork that the military did not want?

    January 12, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |