Mar 29, 2011

Senate Democrats Divided Over Efforts To Tackle Long-Term Deficits

While House Republicans are united in passing a long-term budget that is fiscally responsible and allows for future economic growth, Senate Democrats are severely divided over efforts to even begin discussing these important topics. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin has been alienated from his party leadership and the White House over his efforts to tackle Social Security and ensure that the program is protected for future generations.

Sen. Dick Durbin Is Feeling Pressure “Coming From The Left” Of The Democratic Caucus To Resist Even Addressing Social Security. “If he [Durbin] cuts a deal, he could be seen as a senator who remained above the partisan fray to solve a major problem — something that could set him apart at a time when his rival in the leadership, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, has become his party’s lead attack dog. But doing that also could anger the left — especially since the Gang of Six talks could very well be Congress’s best chance to attack the $14 trillion federal debt. Right now, most of the pressure is coming from the left.” (Manu Raju, “Dick Durbin Mulls Hot Issue, Debt Deal,” Politico, 3/29/11)

  • Sen. Durbin Has Claimed That Senate Democrats Are The Group Making It Difficult “To Bring The Votes Together” To Address Social Security. DURBIN: “Including Social Security makes it increasingly difficult to bring the votes together—the 60 votes we need in the Senate—particularly in the Senate Democratic Caucus.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 3/28/11)

  • Sen. Durbin On Social Security Being Included In A Long-Term Deficit Deal: “We Have To Make It Part Of It.” “But I will tell you that it is difficult within the room, with the six senators sitting down, to get around Social Security. We have to make it part of it.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 3/28/11)