Fix the Debt“We are relieved that the Senate appears poised to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The bipartisan passage of cloture on the legislation, along with the strong bipartisan support in the House, demonstrates the type of cooperation that will be needed to make real progress on the nation’s fiscal challenges.

“This bill shows that Congress can govern by compromise instead of by crisis, and it greatly reduces the risk of another government shutdown. At the same time, it rationalizes the sequester by replacing mindless, temporary, and abrupt cuts with more targeted and permanent savings and giving the appropriators flexibility to better allocate spending. Obviously, it is highly disappointing that the bill fails to address the real long-term drivers of our unsustainable national debt—our outdated tax code and increasingly costly entitlement programs—but we are pleased that progress has been made.

“This cannot be the end of the story. Lawmakers must come back to work in 2014 willing to build upon the recent bipartisan progress to tackle the real drivers of the debt. This agreement restores some confidence and certainty to the legislative process, so it is vital that lawmakers use this small political victory to go even further in crafting a comprehensive debt agreement that tackles our most challenging problems and sets the country on a stable fiscal course for generations to come. This latest deal is certainly a small step in the right direction, but the real work of improving the country’s long-term fiscal outlook has only just begun.”

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