Wed July 6, 2011

Bennet Calls for Long Term Debt Solution

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet says he favors a long-term solution on trimming the federal deficit rather than a short-term compromise on raising the debt-ceiling, a move that mirrors calls by President Obama ahead of a planned White House meeting Thursday.

The Obama Administration has warned that if the federal government’s $14 trillion borrowing limit isn’t raised by August 2nd, the US will default on its loans and global financial markets will reel. 

There has been talk of a temporary fix. But Senator Bennet, a Democrat, says he’s confident that leaders from both parties can find common ground over the next two weeks.

"The more uncertainty that the markets have about whether or not we’re serious about dealing with this problem, the more difficult the problem is going to be to solve," Bennet said.  "I think a longer term plan is probably a better approach."

Bennet says any deficit-reduction plan in Congress should include cuts to federal farm subsidies. The Senator had planned to hold several meetings on that very topic on the state’s agriculture-dependent eastern plains last week, but canceled the trip due to Congress staying in session to negotiate the debt ceiling. 

But while Bennet says every farm subsidy program needs to be on the table, it’s not clear how far the Democrat will be willing to go.

"Farmers and ranchers face huge volatility in commodity prices and huge risk with respect to their crops and I think that can’t be forgotten as well," he said.

Bennet, and fellow Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall, recently voted against an amendment that would have halted subsidies for ethanol.