Tester pushes President to support comprehensive plan to cut spending and the national debt

Senator’s push follows meeting this week with Debt Commission co-chair former Sen. Alan Simpson

(BILLINGS, Mont.) – After meeting this week with the co-chair of the national Debt Commission, Senator Jon Tester today pushed President Obama to support a comprehensive plan to cut spending and the national debt.

Tester, a member of a bipartisan working group of Senators who have crafted a deficit-reduction plan, joined Senators from both parties in calling on the President to engage with and support such a credible, long-term plan.

Tester met this week with former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), co-chair of the national Debt Commission, to discuss the commission’s recommendations to rein in government spending and the national debt.

Tester noted that while he may not support all ideas outlined in the commission’s report, he believes such a long-term plan is critical to the nation’s fiscal health.

“Montanans are tired of gimmicks and politicians who just talk the talk—America needs a credible, long-term plan to cut spending and the debt without weakening job creation,” Tester said.  “This debate is about what kind of country we pass on to our kids and grandkids.  It’s time to put everything on the table, make the tough choices, and finally tackle this challenge head-on in a bipartisan manner.”

Over the past several weeks, Tester has voted to cut government spending by more than $10 billion.  Tester, the only Senate Democrat to vote against both bailouts of Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry, also is responsible for saving taxpayers $6 billion by trimming back a federal unemployment insurance law last year.

A copy of Tester’s bipartisan letter to the President appears below.


President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

As the Administration continues to work with Congressional leadership regarding our current budget situation, we write to inform you that we believe comprehensive deficit reduction measures are imperative and to ask you to support a broad approach to solving the problem.

As you know, a bipartisan group of Senators has been working to craft a comprehensive deficit reduction package based upon the recommendations of the Fiscal Commission.  While we may not agree with every aspect of the Commission’s recommendations, we believe that its work represents an important foundation to achieve meaningful progress on our debt.  The Commission’s work also underscored the scope and breadth of our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges.  

Beyond FY2011 funding decisions, we urge you to engage in a broader discussion about a comprehensive deficit reduction package.  Specifically, we hope that the discussion will include discretionary spending cuts, entitlement changes and tax reform. 

By approaching these negotiations comprehensively, with a strong signal of support from you, we believe that we can achieve consensus on these important fiscal issues.  This would send a powerful message to Americans that Washington can work together to tackle this critical issue.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.