Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Budget and Finance Committees, today commended the “Gang of Six” for developing a bipartisan, comprehensive plan to deal with our budget deficit and debt. However, he believes that our primary attention at this time must be on raising our debt limit and developing a process that will lead to a credible plan to control our deficit.
“We must focus right now on raising the debt ceiling to avoid default and a downgrade of our credit ratings. Default cannot be an option. Failure to act before August 2 would have a catastrophic impact on our national economy, local communities, and family budgets. The risks are too great for our struggling economy,” said Senator Cardin. “I have said repeatedly that our deficits are not sustainable, but the responsible course of action is to increase the debt ceiling and develop a credible, balanced plan that will enable us to manage our deficits and reduce our debt.
“To its credit, the ‘Gang of Six’ framework provides a bipartisan, comprehensive plan including spending reductions and enhanced revenues. It needs greater clarity on both revenue and spending. I am pleased that the plan would ultimately end the Alternative Minimum Tax, which will help middle-income families, and that it protects many programs that help and support low-income individuals and working families. Questions need to be answered about the overall impact on taxpayers and families. I am troubled that necessary revenue measures are not subject to the same enforcement as spending cuts.
“We can reduce our federal deficits and balance the budget while protecting Medicare, Social Security and federal workers. I was in the House of Representatives when we did it before and we can do it again if all parties work together in good faith toward a positive outcome on behalf of all Americans. It won’t be easy, but it can and must be done.”