INTERVIEW: Senator Mark Warner and the Gang of Six plan - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

INTERVIEW: Senator Mark Warner and the Gang of Six plan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Washington is in a state of flux right now as lawmakers look to find ways to recover from the failure of the super committee. The bi-partisan group could not come up with a plan to cut trillions of dollars from the federal budget, that means deep cuts to social programs and defense could be in the offing.

RYAN: Senator Mark Warner has his own plan that has the support of republicans and democrats. He joins me now live from Washington. Thank you for being here. 

WARNER: Thanks for having me on Ryan.

RYAN: I know you've worked hard with this Gang of Six to come up with an alternative plan to the super committee. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid really hasn't helped you out too much with that. He called your plan "happy talk". Are you disappointed in his reluctance to embrace your efforts?

WARNER: All I would say while there's a valid criticism that we have more details to fill in. Our close to 4 trillion dollar plan had 45 senators equally divided democrats and republicans - that had a ratio of about 3-1, cuts over revenues. That built upon the Simpson-Bowles plan. Actually got farther than any other effort: the vice president talks, the presidents talks, and the super committee, all those came up with goose eggs. You know we ask not to continue with all of our efforts while the super committee was working. This problem didn't go away when they didn't get the job done. Now it's 15 trillion worth of debt, and while the markets have been good the last couple of day, Europe not out of the debt crisis. That could come to us. We want to get ahead of it. I think getting our financial house back in order would be something that the American people would be happy to see happen.  

RYAN: What about the president's role in this. Do you think he's done enough to lead on the issue? That's something republicans are critical on that he was basically hands off when the super committee started.

WARNER: Well, I think we could play back the tape a little bit. I think there was a role that could have been played earlier on in terms of explaining to the America people how big the problem is. And the fact there's not going to be single one party answer only. You have to change entitlement program and raise revenues and cut defense. But I also realize at times when the president has weighed in for example, when we came out with our Gang of Six plan he was supportive. That actually hurt us with some of the republican colleagues. So I think at this point if we can end up with a plan coming out of the Senate that's bipartisan we have 100 members of the House that want to sign on. This would all send us in the right direction.

RYAN: Senator we will have to cut you short there. Thank for being here sir. And good luck.

WARNER: Thanks, Ryan.

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