A bipartisan majority “of the Senate called on President Barack Obama to lead a broad effort to slash U.S. debt through spending cuts and tax increases as part of negotiations on this year’s budget,” Bloomberg reports.
A letter to Obama today signed by 60 senators said “comprehensive deficit reduction measures are imperative” and the president’s leadership is vital. “With a strong signal of support from you, we believe that we can achieve consensus on these important fiscal issues,” the letter said.
The Republican and Democratic senators urged that the budget talks be widened, giving a boost to a bipartisan group of six senators trying to craft a sweeping deficit-reduction plan that can pass Congress.
Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado joined with Republican Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska to write the letter and circulate it to colleagues this week. The number of signatures they attracted suggests that efforts by the so-called Gang of Six to reach a grand bargain to rein in the deficit has picked up substantial support that may help propel an eventual agreement through the Senate.
Update: 64 Senators have now signed the letter. Read it here.