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Mr. WICKER. Mr. President, I am glad to join this bipartisan group today. I see 10 of us on the floor at this time and we all have agreed to speak briefly about this, because we want to make the case that over the next several months we mean business and we intend to do what we can to actually make some tough choices.
I join my colleague from Georgia in commending the membership of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and particularly the leaders of this group, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson--great patriots, people with a great history of service in their own right. They have come forward with some recommendations in their preamble. They make it clear none of us like every element of the plan, but they put forward a plan that I think is a starting point for us, and we intend to use these next few months--frankly, we intend to use the runup to the vote we will have to take on the debt ceiling around April of 2011--to make real progress.
Let me subscribe to several of the statements made in the preamble of this fiscal responsibility commission. They say: ``We cannot play games or put off our choices any longer.''
I think the American people know that, and they expect leadership from their elected representatives in the House and Senate in that regard. The report and the preamble go on to say: ``The American people are counting on us to put politics aside,'' and that is what we are trying to do on the floor today.
And that is what we are trying to do on the floor today with a bipartisan representation--pull together and not pull apart and agree on a plan to live within our means and to make America strong for the long haul.
It has been pointed out that ADM Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says that the most significant threat to national security today is our national debt. I agree with Admiral Mullen, and I think Americans agree also.
``Kicking the can down the road is not going to suffice any longer,'' to quote our colleague from Oklahoma, Senator TOM COBURN.
The preamble goes on to say:
The contagion of debt that began in Greece and continues to sweep through Europe shows us clearly that no economy will be immune.
No economy, not even the U.S. economy.
If the U.S. does not put its house in order, the reckoning will be sure and the devastation severe.
The title of the report of the Commission is ``The Moment of Truth.'' And I think we are here on the floor of the Senate today, on December 14, 2010, to say there is a bipartisan working group that believes we have arrived at a pivotal moment of truth and we intend to get down to the business of rectifying the problem of national spending and our national debt.
I yield to my friend from Montana.
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