Thursday, June 30, 2011

Udall Urges Colleagues to Work Together, Focus on the Debt

Today, in remarks on the Senate floor and in a press conference call earlier in the day, Mark Udall called on his colleagues in the Senate to work together on a plan to reduce our unsustainable debt while protecting our nation’s ability to pay our bills. Udall participated in a colloquy – a conversation on the Senate floor – with senators Michael Bennet (CO) and Chris Coons (DE) about the urgency of reaching a bipartisan agreement.

“The clock is ticking. The markets are begging for a response – and they won’t tolerate a game of chicken,” Udall said. “Our debt is the greatest national security challenge we face, and experts across the board are telling us that it would be catastrophic not to raise the debt ceiling. Time is running out to reach an agreement that ensures the United States doesn’t default on our debts.”

Udall’s comments came as Senate leaders agreed to stay in Washington and work through the July 4 recess. Udall said it was the right thing to do.

“Coloradans want action – they want their lawmakers to put aside partisanship, check their ultimatums at the door, and agree to make progress to shore up our economy and reduce our debt,” Udall said. “This is one of those times when we need to lead. I’m calling on my colleagues to put away our swords, sharpen our pencils, and buckle down to get the hard work done.”

Udall believes we must put a plan in place to reduce the nation’s $14 trillion debt to protect the middle class and help create jobs – and agrees that we cannot leave our bills unpaid by defaulting on our debt. Udall fought to create a bipartisan commission on debt reduction – headed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson – and he has long pushed to bring the commission’s recommendations to the floor for a vote. In his remarks on the floor today, Udall again urged his colleagues to put in place the Bowles-Simpson recommendations, which would lower the debt by more than $4 trillion over the next decade.