The White House
Washington, DC 20500
The Honorable John Boehner
U. S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear President Obama, Speaker Boehner, and Leader Reid:
The failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to achieve agreement does not end the important work to tame our deficit and debt. In that spirit, we believe it is time for the American public to see the Committee’s final work products as well as the proposals developed during Vice President Biden’s deficit reduction talks over the summer. We urge you to release them online to the public.
Much of the Joint Select Committee’s deliberations occurred behind closed doors. In a recent Washington Post story (“Debt supercommittee might turn out to be a useful failure” November 23, 2011), Joint Select Committee member Senator Rob Portman described the Committee’s work, saying: “It’s all available now for the House and Senate to look at, as we continue on this necessary effort to deal with our fiscal crisis.” Unfortunately, it’s not available for the public to “look at.” The last, best offers of the two sides—as well as the Biden proposals—should enter the public discourse to be debated alongside the National Commission on Fiscal Reform (Simpson-Bowles) and the Debt Reduction Task Force report (Domenici-Rivlin).
Solving our nation’s fiscal crisis will require buy-in from the American public. Only after providing them with information and the various trade-offs necessary to get our nation on the right budgetary track can that be accomplished. We cannot afford to wait until after the 2012 elections to make these important decisions. Again, we urge you to release the deficit reduction plans and to demonstrate leadership and statesmanship to cut projected deficits by trillions of dollars.
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Project On Government Oversight
Center for Responsive Politics
The Heartland Institute
Citizens Against Government Waste
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
CC: House Minority Leader Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, Members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction