Jay Stamper on Budget & Economy
On fiscal policy, Washington is failing us. For more than two years, Congress has stumbled from one crisis to the next. Politics, extremism and self-interest have ruined any opportunity for rational debate and real solutions. Now, faced with a debt of more than $16 trillion, and rising costs in essential health care programs, including Medicare, Congress operates in a constant state of crisis and bickering in Washington. We need to do more to root out waste and prioritize our investments.
For the long-term, we must be practical and not political. Democrats and Republicans have both called for a discussion of long-term fiscal solutions that consider reforms to entitlements and new revenue. That is the right place to start. I would also press for tax reform that is fair to middle-class families and small businesses and that will grow the broader economy.
The country is moving forward on the road to recovery. The economy is no longer in free fall. Financial and housing markets have stabilized and positive job growth is returning. Here in South Carolina, the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.4% from a high of 12% in 2009. But we still have a long way to go.
And, just as the country begins to show real signs of economic improvement, we are faced with the mindless across the board cuts of the "sequester" that threaten the nation's and South Carolina's fragile recovery. While the national impact of the cuts remains unclear, we know that South Carolina will be hit especially hard.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate Vacancies 2013:
MA:Gomez(R,lost special election)
Senate races Nov. 2014:
AK:Begich(D) vs.Miller(R) vs.Treadwell(R) vs.Sullivan(R)
CO:Udall(D) vs.Buck(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Baumgardner(R) vs.Stephens(R)
GA:Gingrey(R) vs.Nunn(D) vs.Perdue(R) vs.Handel(R) vs.Broun(R) vs.Kingston(R)
HI:Schatz(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Cavasso(R)
IA:Braley(D) vs.Whitaker(R) vs.Ernst(R) vs.Clovis(R)
IL:Durbin(D) vs.Truax(R) vs.Oberweis(R) vs.Hansen(L)
KY:McConnell(R) vs.Bevin(R) vs.Grimes(D)
ME:Collins(R) vs.D`Amboise(R) vs.Bellows(D)
MI:Land(R) vs.Peters(D) vs.Wiedenhoeft(R)
MS:Cochran(R) vs.McDaniel(R) vs.Childers(D)
MT:Edmunds(R) vs.Daines(R) vs.Bohlinger(D) vs.Walsh(D)
NE:Sasse(R) vs.Osborn(R) vs.
NH:Shaheen(D) vs.Martin(R) vs.Brown(R) vs.Smith(R) vs.Rubens(R) vs.Testerman(R)
SC-6:Graham(R) vs.Stamper(D) vs.Mace(R) vs.Bright(R)
SD:Rounds(R) vs.Weiland(D) vs.Pressler(I)
TX:Cornyn(R) vs.Stockman(R) vs.Roland(L)
WV:Capito(R) vs.Raese(R) vs.Tennant(D) vs.McGeehan(R)
Senate Votes (analysis)