Outgoing U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, called on her colleagues Wednesday to work together in the final two months of the session to avoid deep automatic spending cuts.
Snowe’s written statement also cited her party’s losses in Tuesday’s election – including the presidency and the Senate majority – and said Republicans must be more willing to compromise in Congress.
“We are at a veritable tipping point in this country, with enormous ramifications for our fiscal future based on either our action or inaction in Washington. When Congress reconvenes next Tuesday, we will have 36 business days to tackle the myriad issues that comprise the so-called ‘Fiscal Cliff’ during our Lame Duck session, chief among them $221 billion in expiring tax relief affecting 72 percent of Americans, and an automatic $110 billion in across-the-board cuts in discretionary programs next year and $1.2 trillion over 9 years,” Snowe said in the statement.
“We will also return in the aftermath of an election that maintains our divided government, with no mandate for either party’s positions and no ability for either side to enact their policy proposals lock stock and barrel. It is therefore essential that both parties work together to find common ground, as that is the only way to address the significant challenges that are reverberating throughout our economy.”
“As a Republican, I also implore my fellow Republicans to take the lead in setting the tone for a results-oriented lame duck session, by reaching across the political aisle to invite collaboration on these massive issues that will dictate the future health of our economy. Not only is this the right approach for the country, but it is the path the Republican Party must take if it is ever to return to majority party status in America.”
“As yesterday’s election results reveal… it is essential for Republicans to broaden their appeal, especially with women and minorities,” she said.
“Therefore, the Republican message to Americans must not be ‘you’re on your own’ – but that government should foster an environment in which the economy can grow and personal opportunity can flourish,” she said. “That is why it is crucial for Republicans to demonstrate they are willing to engage in compromise when possible – just as it is vital that Democrats reciprocate with a commitment to an open, collaborative process. The American people are watching, and they are counting on us to finally do the right thing.”