Political Notebook

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Coats to make floor speeches on spending, debt

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., vowed Tuesday to press his colleagues to curtail federal spending and reduce the $16.4 trillion national debt.

“I will be using this platform and others to address what I believe we need to go forward with,” Coats said during a morning speech on the floor of the Senate, where Democrats have a 55-45 majority.

He said 2013 is a perfect opportunity for Congress and the White House to “address our out-of-control spending” because there will be no elections this year. The implication was that lawmakers typically delay critical and potentially unpopular votes in years they face re-election.

“Continuing with the status quo, governing via crisis and failing to address our spending problem must be unacceptable,” said Coats, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

He said he will talk in future speeches about “rational steps I believe we need to get our fiscal house in order.”

Those measures include “everything from the macro to the micro, to the absurd, to the bureaucratic, to the necessary, tough decisions, particularly in regard to our entitlements that have to be addressed in order to preserve and save those programs,” he said in reference to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Coats has served in the Senate since 2011. He also was a senator from 1989 through 1998.

Also Tuesday, freshman Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-2nd, announced she has co-sponsored a bill that would freeze federal salaries, including those of Congress.

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