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Stewart, Colleagues Outline Principles for a Bipartisan Approach to Fiscal Issues

Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), along with a bipartisan group of freshman members outlined a statement of principles to address the nation’s fiscal issues. This group of Republican and Democrat freshman members, led by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) have been meeting over the past several weeks to develop a bipartisan statement of principles to address spending reforms, including Social Security, Medicare and tax reform. More than 2 dozen House members of both parties are active participants in this group.

Contact: Allison.Barker@mail.house.gov

Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), along with a bipartisan group of freshman members outlined a statement of principles to address the nation’s fiscal issues. This group of Republican and Democrat freshman members, led by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) have been meeting over the past several weeks to develop a bipartisan statement of principles to address spending reforms, including Social Security, Medicare and tax reform. More than 2 dozen House members of both parties are active participants in this group.

“It’s been a pleasure working with my colleagues drafting this statement,” Stewart said. “One of the primary reasons I ran for Congress was to fight to reduce our debt and help work to spur our economy. In the six short weeks that I have been in Washington, I have become increasingly convinced that we must act now to avoid a financial collapse. In order to enact long-lasting reform, we must work together to come up with bi-partisan solutions. Cleary, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but through this effort, we have laid a framework for a bi-partisan approach to solve our fiscal problems. I look forward to working with my colleagues as we drill deeper to find lasting solutions.”

They sent the following statement to House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today,  outlining the bipartisan statement of principles. The letter was signed by Reps.  Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Robert Pittenger (R-NC), Andy Barr (R-KY), Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), Ami Bera (D-CA), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Pete Gallego (D-TX), Joe Garcia (D-FL), George Holding (R-NC), David Joyce (R-OH), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Grace Meng (D-NY), Luke Messer (R-IN), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Scott Peters (D-CA), Trey Radel (R-FL), Tom Rice (R-SC), Keith Rothfus (R-PA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Randy Weber (R-TX), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Roger Williams (R-TX), and Ted Yoho (R-FL).

The text of the statement is below:

Bipartisan Freshman Members’ Statement of Principles:

The 113th Congress House Republican and Democratic new members are troubled by the fiscal crisis facing the country, with burdensome debt and trillion dollar annual deficits, which affect economic growth for all and healthcare assurances for our seniors.  Members of our class implore the President and Congress to address this serious challenge now.  In recent years, Congress has lacked the political will to come together and find solutions.  The freshman members of the 113th Congress believe now is the time to work together.

We call upon leadership to no longer accept piecemeal solutions and to work toward finding long-term solutions to avoid financial collapse like Greece and other European countries.  The bi-partisan freshmen members, as noted below, come to the table with mutual understanding and without personal agendas or political gamesmanship.

We affirm the following actions to secure the fiscal health of our nation:

  • Strengthen and Preserve Medicare and Social Security – While protecting current recipients and seniors, we must reform the Medicare and Social Security’s long-term financial obligations by addressing rising health care costs and changing demographics.  The goal is to make sure these essential programs meet our obligations to our seniors and ensure that these bedrocks are available to future generations, while reducing our long-term deficit and debt issues.
  • Promote economic growth to generate revenue – Of critical importance is a fair and broad tax plan including eliminating excessive corporate subsidies, tax loopholes and other subsidies to provide lower rates, that will encourage a pro-growth economy, providing added revenue for the federal budget.  We must also encourage innovation with less stringent regulation to help small businesses grow, which will lower unemployment.
  • Cutting spending – While some spending cuts have already been made, we must look for additional savings moving forward to further reduce spending, while seeking to protect the programs that are crucial to our future health as a nation.
  • Identify efficiencies and consolidations – Restructure and consolidate agencies and departments, eliminating duplication and waste. 
  • Medicaid fraud – Aggressively pursue Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse.

We believe that a bipartisan effort encompassing these needed reforms will yield a prosperous future for our country, while making good to today’s seniors who are counting on the federal government to fulfill its obligations. We are committed to a new era in Congress where bipartisan solutions are the norm.  We are dedicated to working with leadership to help bring these solutions to reality.  The common good of the country demands good faith negotiation, compromise, and immediate and significant action.

For a PDF copy of the letter, with signatures, click here.

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