Speaking to a bipartisan group of central Arkansas politicos, U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D) said that he won’t commit to raising the nation’s debt ceiling without a plan for "meaningful" debt reduction.
Pryor spoke to the Political Animals Club in Little Rock. He told the group that hitting the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling should serve as a wake-up call for a compromise between Republicans and Democrats.
John Lyon with our content partner, the Arkansas News Bureau, reports:
Calling the national debt “our biggest challenge that we’re facing,” Pryor said cutting spending is necessary, but it should happen without cutting loose the nation’s most vulnerable populations, such as children, seniors and the poor.
“Instead of getting the meat cleaver out and just chop, chop, chop, I think this has to be much more measured and targeted and thoughtful,” he said.
Talking to reporters later, Pryor said the Republican budget plan by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is “not going to get bipartisan support.”
Pryor told the Political Animals group he supports tax reform that addresses inequities in the system. He said Republicans who think a total embargo on tax increases will work are wrong, but that Democrats who think they can solve the nation’s problems just by taxing millionaires are wrong, too.
“Right now we have a tax system where 45 percent of Americans don’t pay any federal income tax,” he said. “There are a lot of problems in our tax code, and if you think you can solve this with bumper-sticker slogans, you’re wasting all of our time.”
Pryor also stressed that jump-starting the economy would be pivotal to improving the nation’s debt problem and he addressed rumors that he might not run for re-election. You can read more of Pryor’s comments in Lyon’s report at this link.