Hoeven’s speech on the Senate floor this morning shows where his support leans in this controversial and mostly partisan debate, but it seems a futile pitch given the predictable conclusion of today’s events.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already vowed that the Senate will vote down Boehner’s proposal, as early as this evening.
Members of the House are currently undergoing debate over Boehner’s plan – aka the Budget Control Act of 2011 – before a final vote later today.
Republican Rep. Rick Berg‘s spokeswoman Alee Lockman declined to say this morning whether or not Berg would support the Budget Control Act but she said he would be releasing a statement following the vote.
For his part, Hoeven urged members of Congress to compromise on a plan to address the nation’s deficit and debt.
“Nobody has a corner on good ideas,” Hoeven said. “There have been many, many good ideas brought forward, but now is the time where we have to realize that weve got to come to agreement.”
Hoeven said Boehner’s plan “does represent many of the ideas that both sides.”
“As with any agreement, somebody can certainly find something to criticize,” he said. “No agreement is perfect.”
Specifically, Boehner’s plan calls for:
- raising the federal debt limit by nearly $1 trillion, while requiring $1.2 trillion in spending cuts in the short-term.
- the formation of a 12-member bipartisan congressional committee to outline at least another $1.8 trillion in savings by November.
- only with the savings outlined could the debt ceiling be raised by another $1.6 trillion – enough to fund the government through the 2012 elections.
Hoeven said the bipartisan committee would allow members of Congress to combine ideas from the president’s fiscal commission and the Gang of Six to draft a final plan that saves money, brings much-needed reforms to the tax code, and raises revenues but doesn’t raise taxes.
Boehner’s plan also recommends a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the end of this year. Hoeven and other senators have already cosponsored legislation calling for such a constitutional amendment.
“I strongly believe thats what we need,” he said. “Its all about the right approach. Today we need to take that first step. I come back to where I started. It may not be the plan exactly the way everybody wants it, but its a plan that we can approve, and it brings together concepts that people on both sides of the aisle have brought forward.”
Watch Hoeven’s full speech here: