Political Notebook

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Coats wants deeper cuts

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., is among a bipartisan group of 34 senators pressing the House-Senate debt-reduction committee to cut federal spending much more than planned.

The Budget Control Act requires that the "supercommittee" recommend to Congress $1.5 trillion in cuts over the next decade. The new coalition seeks $4 trillion in cuts.

Coats said Thursday at a news conference that the debt-reduction committee, which has until Nov. 23 to make its recommendations, needs "to look at what has gone before," including work by the so-called Senate Gang of Six and the Simpson-Bowles commission, plus legislation Coats has co-sponsored to revise the tax code.

"It's out there for them to work with and fine-tune, and frankly they just have a few weeks to do it," Coats said. "And I don't see how they can get to where we all want them to get to without following that model."

The coalition consists of 17 Republicans, 16 Democrats and an independent. Among the members are Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado, Mark Warner of Virginia and tax-overhaul sponsor Ron Wyden of Oregon. Republicans include Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mark Kirk of Illinois.