Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Durbin to fellow libs: Back fiscal cliff entitlement cuts

"God bless our troops and protect them
from Durbin and Obama." Niles, IL 2008
It's a rare day when I agree with Dick Durbin, who nominally represents me in the Senate.

From the Chicago Tribune:
A top Democrat pressured fellow progressives Tuesday to support – rather than fight – a far-reaching budget deal that includes cuts to entitlement programs after resolving the upcoming fiscal cliff.

"We can't be so naive to believe that just taxing the rich will solve our problems," said Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate. "Put everything on the table. Repeat. Everything on the table."

The assistant majority leader's speech at the influential Center for American Progress comes at a pivotal moment in budget talks between the White House and Congress. Progressive and labor groups have warned President Obama against cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs and to instead focus on raising tax revenue in the administration’s negotiations with congressional Republicans.
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1 comment:

Lil said...

Might want to walk that back (my rep too). Durbin speak "Give me what I want now and we'll discuss what you want later."

Medicare and Medicaid savings should be part of future debt-reduction efforts, but not on the table in talks regarding the impending “fiscal cliff,” the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate said.

In the prepared remarks of Sen. Richard Durbin’s speech today to the liberal Center for American Progress, he writes that progressives cannot “pretend” the programs can “continue forever” without changes to ensure their solvency. But the majority whip from Illinois insists that any adjustments should come after the immediate budget is passed.

“Progressives should be willing to talk about ways to ensure the long-term viability of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,” it reads. “But those conversations should not be part of a plan to avert the fiscal cliff.”

During the event, the Illinois lawmaker skipped over that section of his notes, which were released to the media, but told reporters that he stood by every word.

“We can’t be so naive as to believe that just taxing the rich is going to solve our problems,” he told the crowd, adding that his caucus needed to be open to issues “painful and hard for us to talk about.”

Durbin said he continued to be opposed to some conservative proposals, including voucher programs for Medicare and a block-grant system for Medicaid. But he also maintained he’s wary of raising the eligibility age for the safety-net programs, for fear of creating coverage gaps. President Obama floated that idea last year.