'Put up or shut up' on debt - senator

chambliss_warner.gi.top.jpgDemocrat Mark Warner and Republican Saxby Chambliss say they will introduce the Bowles-Simpson report as legislation. By Jeanne Sahadi, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- With the enactment of an $858 billion tax cut and stimulus package last week, it may seem as if those calling for deficit reduction are spitting into the wind.

But don't be surprised if the Senate takes up the issue in 2011.

A bipartisan group of 18 senators have called on the Senate to tackle debt reduction by the end of next year.

"It is time for us in the Senate -- excuse the language -- to put up or shut up," said Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia on the Senate floor last week.

Warner and Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia formed the group over the summer during a number of informal meetings they convened to educate themselves and colleagues about the debt.

Last week, during the debate over extending the Bush tax cuts, all 18 members gave short speeches calling for a serious debt-reduction plan and comprehensive tax reform before 2012.

As part of that effort, Warner and Chambliss plan to introduce the report of President Obama's fiscal commission as Senate legislation next month. (Here's a breakdown of what's in the report.)

"At the very least, their recommendations can serve as a starting point for a serious debate on how we can ensure a better life for our children and our grandchildren," Chambliss said.

It would be a heavy lift for Congress to agree on a plan for both debt reduction and tax reform in the next 12 months.

But the group could provide influential support for any serious ideas proposed by the White House.

President Obama has promised to make tax reform a top agenda item in the next two years. And he has promised to deliver a 2012 budget proposal that provides options to reduce debt in earnest over the next decade. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,080.14 21.45 0.12%
Nasdaq 5,092.09 36.02 0.71%
S&P 500 2,117.69 4.76 0.23%
Treasuries 1.92 -0.03 -1.54%
Data as of 10:59pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Microsoft Corp 47.87 4.53 10.45%
Apple Inc 130.28 0.61 0.47%
Comcast Corp 59.64 0.41 0.69%
AT&T Inc 34.01 -0.22 -0.64%
Xerox Corp 11.99 -1.15 -8.75%
Data as of Apr 24
Sponsors

Sections

Shares in Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo dropped sharply Friday after hoaxers claimed its CEO had quit after faking billions in profits. More

The impact of rising immigration on Britain's economy has become a hot topic in the election campaign. More

Stars of Youtube, Vine, Snapchat, and Twitter are attending this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner. More

A Girl Scouts Cookie Oven rolling out to Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart stores this summer will let you bake those iconic thin mints right at home. More