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Durbin, Roskam: opposite views on deficit deal

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Explains that extending the debt ceiling on a bipartisan basis must be the priority

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Moments before President Obama congratulated the Gang of Six for coming up with balanced framework to reduce the deficit over the long-term, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the President's bipartisan fiscal commission and the Gang of Six, spoke on the floor of the United States Senate about recent positive developments in the group's discussions, but stressed the urgency of extending the debt ceiling in the coming days. Durbin has been working for many months with five other Senators from both parties to develop a responsible plan for reducing our debts in the future while promoting desperately needed job creation now. He is also the only member of Congress from Illinois that has been involved in the White House debt negotiation meetings at the over the past few weeks.

"It is a significant moment in our history that 49 Senators--Republicans and Democrats--came together this morning and felt positive about a bipartisan plan to reduce our deficit," said Durbin. "But we don't have much time left to get down to business and extend the debt ceiling. We cannot let interest rates go up and kill the recovery that's taking place in this economy by killing jobs. We need to solve this problem on a bipartisan basis--we need to extend the debt ceiling."


WASHINGTON - Rep. Peter Roskam, Chief Deputy Whip, recently spoke on the House floor in support of Cut, Cap and Balance.

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Rep. Roskam: "I thank the gentlemen for yielding and thank you Mr. Speaker. I sit back and as we're watching the debate today, I've got to take my hat off to the gentlemen from Maryland who I think has the toughest job in the whole chamber, Mr. Speaker. He's basically today the lawyer for the status quo, and that's a tough job. That's a tough argument to make. No matter how thoughtful the arguments had been on this side of the aisle..."

Mr. Van Hollen: "Will the gentleman yield?"

Roskam: "I will at the end. I'll give you 30 seconds at the end. No matter how poignant the arguments are that there's an urgency, no matter how jarring the unemployment figures are at 9.2%, no matter what the rating agencies are saying, the gentleman from Maryland is basically saying no, no there's a better plan.

"But I would submit that there is no better plan. There is no more balanced plan than cut, cap and balance. Most Americans as they're listening to this debate, they are hearing Washington saying, hold the line, defend the status quo, lash ourselves to the mast and were going get around the cape if we only just stick on the current course. Well, the current course is a failure.

"There's nobody that can defend the status quo with a straight face. And so what happens now is this majority has come up and said, okay, there is a pathway forward. And the pathway forward is immediate, short-term, and long-term. And I don't see what the argument is. I'm happy to yield to the gentleman."

Roskam: "And furthermore, they're doing it in an orderly basis that is amending the constitution forthrightly and directly. And I think in closing, Mr. Speaker, my hat is off to the gentleman from Maryland, who no matter what the Majority has come up with, always comes up with some argument that just defies logic. But I think most Americans, as they're listening to this debate, are saying cut it, cap it, and balance it, and do it now."


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 19, 2011 6:09 PM.

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