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WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) signed a bipartisan letter with 63 of his Senate colleagues urging President Obama to support comprehensive deficit reduction measures, including discretionary spending cuts, entitlement changes and tax reform, while tackling the nation's budget problems. A bipartisan group of senators is working on a comprehensive deficit reduction package based in part on the recommendations submitted last December by the President's bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.

"Bringing balance to our federal budget will be difficult, requiring a shared sacrifice from all of us," said Sen. Carper. "The President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform provided us with a valuable roadmap to long-term fiscal order, and while we may not all agree with every recommendation, its basic approach is sound. We need to take a hard look at all of the options available to us and get to work on a comprehensive deficit reduction package. Our nation needs to shift from a 'culture of spendthrift' to a 'culture of thrift,' where we endeavor to look in every nook and cranny of the federal government for ways in which we can save money and perform work more efficiently. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the Administration to advance a broad, long-term approach to bringing our fiscal house in order."

A copy of the letter follows:

March 15, 2011

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

As the Administration continues to work with Congressional leadership regarding our current budget situation, we write to inform you that we believe comprehensive deficit reduction measures are imperative and to ask you to support a broad approach to solving the problem.

As you know, a bipartisan group of Senators has been working to craft a comprehensive deficit reduction package based upon the recommendations of the Fiscal Commission. While we may not agree with every aspect of the Commission's recommendations, we believe that its work represents an important foundation to achieve meaningful progress on our debt. The Commission's work also underscored the scope and breadth of our nation's long-term fiscal challenges.

Beyond FY2011 funding decisions, we urge you to engage in a broader discussion about a comprehensive deficit reduction package. Specifically, we hope that the discussion will include discretionary spending cuts, entitlement changes and tax reform.

By approaching these negotiations comprehensively, with a strong signal of support from you, we believe that we can achieve consensus on these important fiscal issues. This would send a powerful message to Americans that Washington can work together to tackle this critical issue.
 
Thank you for your attention to this matter.

The letter was signed by the following Senators:

Democrats:

Michael Bennet (D-CO), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Begich (D-AK), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Mark Udall (D- CO), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Christopher Coons(D-DE), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) , Kent Conrad (D-ND) , Mark Warner (D-VA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Republicans:

Mike Johanns (R-DE), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Scott Brown (R-MA), Richard Burr (R -NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Bob Corker (R-TN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH), James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Richard Shelby (R-AL), John Thune (R-SD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). 

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