In second ‘maiden speech,’ senator calls on Obama to lead on deficit reduction

Coats delivered his first maiden speech more than 20 years ago, when he held the same seat in the Senate from 1989 to 1999. 

Coats quoted a speech President Obama delivered on the Senate floor when he was a still a senator.

“In 2006 then-Sen. Obama said  ‘increasing American debt weakens us domestically and internationally, leadership means that the buck stops here but instead Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today on to the backs of our children and grandchildren. American has a debt problem and a failure of leadership,'" Coats said.

“Our nation, Mr. President, needs you now to assume the primary leadership role in helping us avert these financial problems and this potential meltdown. So I ask our President ... Mr. President, grant us your leadership. Grant us the leadership needed to restore the strength and prosperity that has been the American story.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) echoed Coats’ message.

"I would like to commend the senator for his excellent speech and particularly his emphasis on the importance of the President of the United States leading on the issue of entitlement reform," said McConnell. "We all still hope the president will step up and help us meet this enormous challenge."

On Wednesday the Senate will continue to debate a bill to fund the Small Business Administration and will engage in a series of votes on amendments beginning at 10:30 a.m.