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Former Senators Olympia Snowe, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Kent Conrad, And John Sununu Join Campaign To Fix The Debt's Bipartisan Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Campaign to Fix the Debt announced the creation of the Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council (CFLC), a bipartisan group of more than 85 former federal lawmakers from across the country. New members include former U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and John Sununu (R-NH), as well as many of their former colleagues from the U.S. House and Senate. The CFLC is committed to urging meaningful debt-reduction legislation and providing support to those who show the leadership to take a stand.

On Monday, the Campaign hosted the "State of the Debt" press conference, a bipartisan forum of 16 CFLC members from both sides of the political aisle. The launch event for the CFLC also provided a platform for participants to call on the President to make finding a comprehensive, bipartisan budget agreement a central priority in his State of the Union speech, and in the year ahead. The press conference was held on the same day the Committee for a Responsible Budget released an update to its policy paper, "Our Debt Problems Are Far from Solved" ( http://crfb.org/document/report-our-debt-problems-are-far-solved), which calls for $2.4 trillion in further savings over the next ten years.

"The Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council is comprised of men and women who know what compromise looks like and who recognize the urgency of addressing our country's growing federal debt," said Maya MacGuineas, head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. "This new group of affiliates will lend its experience and deep expertise to advance the mission of the Campaign to Fix the Debt."

The publicly-held portion of the national debt currently exceeds $11.6 trillion, more than 73 percent of the United States' GDP. On February 5, the Congressional Budget Office released updated projections that find the country will run an $845 billion deficit this year. Although that marks the first time since 2008 the deficit will fall below $1 trillion, the same analysis indicates long-term debt will continue to grow. Within ten years, the debt will equal 77 percent of GDP, the most since 1951, even if the automatic "sequestration" cuts take effect in March as scheduled.

"The debt threat to our nation remains one of our toughest challenges," said former North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad, a new member of the Campaign to Fix the Debt's Steering Committee and Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council. "While progress has been made with the Budget Control Act, much more needs to be done. Recent analysis tells us we need at least another $2 trillion of deficit reduction this decade to get our debt on a declining course. That will require entitlement reform to save money and tax reform to generate revenue and improve the competitive position of our country."

"Unfortunately, in Washington these days it seems like leaders are more concerned with scoring political points than taking a stand on tough issues," said former New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, co-chair of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. "As members of the Congressional Fiscal Leadership Council, we hope to show Members of Congress and of the Administration that good policy can equal good politics. They may have to stand up to narrowly-focused constituencies, but the reality is that Americans recognize the fiscal problems we face, and they want our leaders to work together to get them under control."

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a non-partisan movement asking lawmakers to work together on legislation large enough to stabilize and reduce the national debt as a share of the economy. Members come from a broad range of social, economic and political perspectives with the belief that America's growing debt burden threatens our future, and that we must address it now. The Campaign will mobilize key communities – including leaders from business, government, and policy – and people all across America who want to see elected officials step up to solve our nation's fiscal challenges

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