BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Republican U.S. Senate candidates George Allen and Jamie Radtke both rejected the debt reduction deal that appeared destined to pass Congress tonight or tomorrow.
The plan would reduce deficits by at least $2.1 trillion over the next decade, with $917 billion up front and leaving a bipartisan “super committee” to identify further reductions by the end of the year.
“I am both angered and dismayed by the total lack of leadership and courage this deal represents,” Radtke said Monday afternoon.
Calling it a “debt deal sugar rush,” Radtke said that “our leaders could not resist, and they struck a deal that provides a temporary and deceptive feeling of relief.”
Radtke, who did not support increasing the debt ceiling, said the deal “will most assuredly cost us our AAA credit rating and, consequently, impose severe economic pain on all Americans.”
Allen, a former senator, also would not have supported the plan, saying that the “11th hour deal fails to address the country’s serious fiscal problems, has no concrete balanced budget amendment, and punts the tough decisions to yet another commission while adding nearly a trillion dollars more to our nation’s debt as they deliberate.”
Allen said that Democrats will “use this new commission to continue their push for job-killing tax increases as the answer to our country’s problems.”
If the commission fails to reach an agreement, he added, the triggered cuts would be heavily focused on defense spending “risking our troop’s safety and seriously threatening Virginia jobs.”
Democratic candidate Timothy M. Kaine offered grudging support for the plan, noting that he would have liked a larger deal including tax and entitlement reform and allowing tax cuts for the wealthy to expire.
“I’m disappointed that my Republican opponents joined the Tea Party in choosing default over bipartisan compromise,” Kaine said, calling the deal a “flawed but necessary agreement.”
BY WESLEY P. HESTER