After voting for the legislation that averted the so-called "fiscal cliff," U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA14) said Wednesday that Congress and the President must continue working to find an additional $400 billion to $600 billion to put toward reducing the federal deficit.
Doyle said the fiscal cliff deal garnered about $600 billion in revenue after allowing taxes to raise for only the wealthiest 2% of Americans, while continuing unemployment compensation payouts and delaying automatic cuts to federal programs.
Doyle said he thinks "step two" of deficit reduction should be a mix of spending cuts and tax reform to keep paying down the nation's debt.
"This is going to come as we take a look at the tax system, see what loopholes that maybe some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in this country have that other Americans don't have access to, to reform those types of things and then take that savings and put it towards deficit reduction," said Doyle.
Doyle said he's also considering cuts to federal entitlement programs.
"We have to consider how to strengthen the Medicare program. This is a very important program to seniors, but it costs a lot of money too," said Doyle. "We've got to look at ways to run that program more efficiently, and do so in a way that doesn't impact beneficiaries at the lower income levels, but strengthens that program. Same with the Medicaid program."
He said he thinks the Social Security program should be streamlined in the same way, but said any savings from that reform should be deposited in the Social Security Trust Fund rather than put toward the federal deficit.
Doyle said future fiscal debates should take care to avoid shaking the public's confidence in the American economy.
"There's not enough cuts to balance this budget. There's not enough tax increases to balance this budget," said Doyle. "This budget gets balanced with growth, and growth comes with certainty, when people know the rules of the road."