Kuster joins new bipartisan congressional coalition to address nation's fiscal problemsBy JOHN DiSTASO
Senior Political Reporter
February 14. 2013 5:51PM
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster on Thursday joined a bipartisan call for a balanced approach to the nation's fiscal problems as a member a new congressional coalition called the United Solutions Caucus.
The New Hampshire Democrat joined a Capitol Hill news conference with 21 Republicans and 11 Democratic new member of Congress in outlining "bipartisan principles for reducing the deficit, growing the economy, and protecting seniors and the middle class."
They said they will "continue working together to find common sense solutions," according to Kuster's office.
"Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to put politics aside and work together on a long-term, bipartisan deal to address our fiscal challenges," Kuster said.
"No more lurching from crisis to crisis, no more my-way-or-the-highway demands. The only way to meaningfully reduce our deficit and put our nation on a sustainable fiscal path is by working together to find common ground.
"That's what the American people want, it's what our economy needs, and it's what our country deserves," Kuster said.
According to Kuster's office, the new members of Congress have been meeting over the past several weeks to design a framework for addressing our fiscal challenges by streamlining government, simplifying the tax code, generating new revenue, and cutting spending. They also are committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare.
The group will formally organize and continue meeting as the United Solutions Caucus.
"We are committed to a new era in Congress where bipartisan solutions are the norm," the group wrote in a letter to House speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi. "We are dedicated to working with leadership to help bring these solutions to reality. The common good of the country demands good faith negotiation, compromise, and immediate and significant action."
Kuster's office said the announcement builds on her "ongoing commitment to bringing Republicans and Democrats together to reduce the deficit in a balanced, responsible way that will spur job creation, grow the economy, and protect middle class families."
In its letter, the bipartisan group wrote, "The 113th Congress House Republican and Democratic new members are troubled by the fiscal crisis facing the country, with burdensome debt and trillion dollar annual deficits, which affect economic growth for all and healthcare assurances for our seniors. Members of our class implore the President and Congress to address this serious challenge now.
"In recent years, Congress has lacked the political will to come together and find solutions. The freshman members of the 113th Congress believe now is the time to work together," the group wrote.
"We call upon leadership to no longer accept piecemeal solutions and to work toward finding long-term solutions to avoid financial collapse like Greece and other European countries. The bipartisan freshmen members come to the table with mutual understanding and without personal agendas or political gamesmanship."
The group called for strengthening Social Security and preserving Medicare, promoting economic growth to generate revenue, cutting spending, eliminating waste and pursuing Medicaid fraud.