CORNING | U.S. Rep. Tom Reed said Monday that while the debt ceiling is something that needs to be addressed, he’s expecting something in return for voting to raise it.
He said the one thing he can’t support is maintaining the status quo. He’s hoping for some action to reduce the growth of the deficit.
“Even if it’s baby steps in the right direction,” Reed said. “If we’re making progress, I’ll be part of that effort.”
Reed said it was important to draw attention to the rising debt that made action on the federal debt ceiling necessary.
“This is an $18 trillion problem that’s growing every day,” Reed said.
But he seemed to have little interest in the kinds of high-stakes standoffs that have been precipitated by the issue in the past.
“This is obviously something we have to deal with, and sooner rather than later,” he said.
Reed said he was hopeful the issue would be disposed of before any last-minute heroics were necessary.
“There is a possibility we may even deal with it in the next few days in the House,” Reed said.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said the government will run out of money at the end of February without action from Congress.
On another topic, Reed said he’s optimistic that the new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee will be a willing partner with Reed’s own House Ways and Means Committee to work toward reforming the nation’s tax system.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is leaving the position after he was confirmed last week as new United States ambassador to China.
Taking over on the finance committee will be Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
“Obviously it’s a little early to judge where the Senate Finance Committee will go,” Reed said.
However, he has taken a look at Wyden’s record on tax issues.
“The fact that Wyden has a comprehensive tax reform bill out there, that he has drafted, I think that helps (in) supporting the goal of ... tax reform,” he said.
Reed said a strong relationship between the House and Senate’s key tax committees will be essential to tax reform, something he’s made a high priority.