Your April 1 editorial about the recent defeat of a bipartisan deficit-reduction plan in the U.S. House aptly notes that most House members chose to "put partisanship above progress on the nation's debt."
The editorial was on the mark in offering high praise for five lawmakers from Illinois who supported the plan: Democrats Mike Quigley and Dan Lipinski, and Republicans Robert Dold, Tim Johnson and John Shimkus.
They were among only 38 House Democrats and Republicans who voted for the proposal, sponsored by Reps. Jim Cooper and Steven LaTourette. Those votes took real courage in the face of such heavy congressional opposition and a ferocious lobbying campaign from special interests across the political spectrum.
The plan was based on the balanced recommendations of a bipartisan majority of the president's fiscal commission, which offer a credible, fair-minded path to a sustainable federal budget.
Despite its defeat, the Cooper-LaTourette plan's appearance on the House floor should be viewed as a beginning rather than an ending. True fiscal reform must come eventually, and it will require bipartisan compromise. Quigley, Lipinski, Dold, Johnson and Shimkus deserve great credit for trying to get Washington moving in the right direction.
-- Sara Imhof, Midwest regional director, the Concord Coalition, Coralville, Iowa
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