Debt group backed by 147 ex-lawmakers

The Fix the Debt coalition has 147 former senators and congressmen signed on as supporters of its campaign, according to a list obtained by The Hill.

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The group, which is advocating for a deficit grand bargain including entitlement reform and new tax revenue, has the support of nine former Democratic senators and 20 former Republican senators. It has the support of 72 former Democratic representatives and 46 former GOP House members.

Fix the Debt is also preparing to announce the support of nine former governors.

“Every day, this bipartisan grassroots campaign is growing. We are thrilled to have the support of so many distinguished former members of Congress and governors and we will continue to engage Americans across the country in order to build support to get Congress and the president to pass a comprehensive debt deal,” spokesman Jon Romano said.

The Fix the Debt campaign is not pushing any particular plan, although its manifesto recognizes the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson proposal as a possible model.

It is calling for a deal that reforms Medicare and Medicaid, strengthens Social Security and overhauls the tax code in a way that “broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues, and reduces the deficit.”

The group is neutral on whether the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy need to expire first, the key sticking point between the White House and the GOP House at the moment.

Bowles-Simpson had Social Security reforms, but lacked fundamental healthcare changes and also allowed the Bush-era rates on the wealthy to expire.

The full list is here.

Of note: former conservative Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), now a lobbyist at Patton Boggs; former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) now at Hogan Lovells; former liberal Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) now at Arent Fox; former Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), father of current Sen. Lisa Murkowski; former Ways and Means ranking member Jim McCrery (R-La.), now a lobbyist fighting to keep preferential capital gains rates; former House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-S.C.) who lost to Tea Party favorite Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.); Daniel Mica (D-Fla), brother of House Transportation Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.); Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) former co-chairman of 9/11 commission; former Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.), Clinton’s agriculture secretary; Steve Bartlett (R-Texas), the former CEO of Financial Services Roundtable; former Rep. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) who was HUD secretary under President George W. Bush; and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), who recently danced Gangnam style to highlight the national debt.