challenged to disclose his debt limit plan after a speech to the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce in Northbrook on Monday.
Congress and the President have been negotiating for weeks to arrive at a solution that will allow the federal government to borrow additional funds to meet its obligations in return for reductions in federal spending and the overall debt.
“I favor a big, bold plan,” Dold told more than 100 Chamber of Commerce members from Northbrook, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Wilmette, Winnetka, Highland Park, Glenview and Wheeling. “Nothing can be done without broad bipartisan support.”
To read more about what some locals think about the debt ceiling debate in Washington .
Though Dold and the President favor a large, long-range plan to reduce the federal debt, Dold wants to see what Obama has in mind.
“There’s only one guy who can sign it into law,” Dold said of the President. “We have yet to see what it (the President’s plan) is. Will it include $3 trillion in tax increases? We need to see some specifics.”
also wants to see a large deal along the lines of the recommendations made by Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The panel was chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) and Erskine Bowles, former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff.
"Senator Kirk supports the bipartisan approach of the President's Debt Commission and the work of the Gang of Five to prevent an American default,” Kirk spokesman Lance Trover said. “He believes that the proposed plan for $4.5 trillion in deficit reduction is the best way to reassure markets and bring spending in line with tax revenues."
Though Dold did not specifically endorse all the provisions of the Simpson-Bowles proposal, he embraces parts of it.
“It’s the kind of thing we need,” he said.
'A cancer eating us from within'
During his talk to the Chamber of Commerce, Dold specifically cited Bowles’ statement, calling the debt “a cancer eating us from within.”
One specific piece of legislation introduced in the House of Representatives Monday morning to allow an increase in the debt ceiling has been dubbed “cut, cap and balance.” The proposed legislation would cut $1.8 trillion from non-defense discretionary spending over 10 years and mandate a two-thirds majority by the House and Senate for future tax increases.
Dold likes the concept but has not taken a firm position. He left the Chamber of Commerce meeting to catch a plane to Washington where he would have time to study the proposal in detail.
is happy with neither the theory nor the details of the proposed law. She believes the Republican House majority is using its leverage to potentially damage America’s credit rating.
“The Cut, Cap, and Balance bill would enact spending cuts that would cost 700,000 Americans their jobs, and would lay the groundwork for devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid,” Schakowsky said.
Schakowsky explained the United States Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders have warned the government not to risk default. “I will oppose this bill, which has no chance of becoming law,” she said.
As a freshman member of Congress, Dold recognizes his limitations to influence Congressional leaders, but plans to play a role nevertheless.
“I can talk to the people who are in the room,” Dold said referring to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). “I can let them know what people are saying here, what impact it is having on people here."
The federal debt ceiling was on the minds of many people in the room Monday, including Brent Hamachek of Northbrook. He wants Dold to take a hard line and force Obama to make major changes before he's allowed to borrow more money for the country.
“Given all of the pressures the Republicans in the House are bringing right now, how steeled is the group to stand and fight in the debt ceiling debate,” Hamachek said. “Out here, Atlas is starting to shrug.”
Dold made it clear the country will pay its bills. He likens the country to the “best business in the world” and the national debt as an obligation that must be honored.
“How are we going to restructure that business so it is not going to take on the debt it has?” Dold asked. “What we want going forward are cuts significantly greater than the debt ceiling will be raised.”