Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, both Tennessee Republicans, on Thursday voted against H.R. 325, the House-passed debt limit bill, and urged Congress to focus on reforming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
“I voted against this bill because it raises the debt ceiling without taking steps to reduce the debt. Senator Corker and I have introduced legislation that would reduce entitlement spending by nearly $1 trillion, in exchange for the president’s expected request to increase the debt ceiling,” said Senator Alexander, adding, “The House bill does include the ‘No Budget, No Pay Act,’ which I strongly support, and I will be looking for other opportunities to enact that into law.”
“I hope over the next few months the House and Senate will be able to come together and pass structural, transformative reforms to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that will save these programs and put our country on a path to fiscal solvency,” said Senator Corker. “We have an obligation to older and younger Americans. Young Americans expect us to solve our fiscal issues so they aren’t saddled with debt and robbed of their opportunity for the American dream, and seniors expect us to honor the commitments we have made to them.”
In December, Senators Corker and Alexander offered the “Dollar for Dollar Act,” S. 3673, legislation to raise the debt ceiling by roughly $1 trillion in exchange for roughly $1 trillion in reforms to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The bill incorporates many of the recommendations made by President Obama’s Debt Commission (Simpson-Bowles) as well as by former Republican Senator Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin, budget director for former President Clinton.
Click here for the Dollar for Dollar Act summary and here for the bill text.