Daniels Seeks Federal Debt Report ‘Reunion’ Tour

March 13, 2012

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels on Tuesday urged Congress to reconsider sweeping changes called for in a federal debt report he says has fallen by the wayside in the past year.

Daniels said he would like to see a "reunion tour'' of the sweeping report drafted by former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and former Clinton aide Erskine Bowles in 2010. The report called for a mix of tax changes and spending cuts to tackle the national debt. It was circulated but never adopted by the bipartisan commission empanelled by President Barack Obama.

Daniels made the request on a conference call with the group No Labels, which group founder Nancy Jacobson said was heard by 20,000 listeners. Since announcing last year he would not run for president, Daniels has used appearances on the national stage to push spending cuts and entitlement reform while equally criticizing Obama.

The message is essentially the same as the one he laid out in his book released last year.

"I'd like to see a Bowles-Simpson Reunion Tour next year,'' Daniels said. "If we're going to embrace this problem, nobody's going to get 100 percent of what they're looking for.''

Obama established the 18-member national debt commission in February 2010. Since then, the recommendations made by chairmen Simpson and Bowles have often been referenced in Washington _ in everything ranging from the debt-ceiling debate to No Labels' current push to get a federal budget approved _ but have gained little traction.

Daniels' Republican colleagues in the presidential contest have moved away from a debt-centric message in the last few months as the national economy has gotten stronger, but Daniels remains focused on the issue.

"There's no difference between us, Greece and Portugal and these other countries teetering on the brink,'' Daniels said. "The only difference between us is a slight difference of degrees.

Story source: AP