Senator Lamar Alexander says he’s ready to throw his weight behind President Obama’s debt reduction commission, which first made its recommendations more than year ago. Another member of Tennessee’s congressional delegation tried the same thing and failed by a landslide.
The plan outlined by the Simpson-Bowles commission hit the floor of Congress with a thud in late 2010. The plan makes deep cuts to military and domestic spending and raises the retirement age. Now, a number of lawmakers in both parties are giving Simpson-Bowles a second look. Alexander hopes he can muster 60 votes for his bill, even with a big election coming up in November.
“There’s no reason we should take a year off just because it’s an election year. We’re getting paid, we might as well work.”
Nashville Democratic Congressman Jim Cooper tried to get a similar bill through the House. He even had a Republican co-sponsor. Cooper’s bill failed on a vote of 382 to 38. Senator Alexander says that’s because the President didn’t show enough leadership on the issue.