U.S. 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, a press release said.
“I voted against this bill because it raises the debt ceiling without taking steps to reduce the debt,” Alexander said. “Sen. 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.”
Alexander said the House bill includes the “No Budget, No Pay Act,” which he supports.
“I will be looking for other opportunities to enact that into law,” Alexander said.
Corker said he hopes Congress will be able to work together during the next few months “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.
“We have an obligation to older and younger Americans,” Corker said. “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, 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.