CONCORD, N.H. Former Sen. Warren B. Rudman, who co-wrote a groundbreaking budget balancing law, championed ethics and led a commission that predicted the danger of homeland terrorist attacks before 9/11, has died. He was 82.
He died Monday night, according to his Washington, D.C., firm, the Albright Stonebridge Group.
The feisty New Hampshire Republican went to the Senate in 1981 with a reputation as a tough prosecutor, and was called on by Senate leaders, and later by presidents of both parties, to tackle tough assignments.
He is perhaps most well-known from his Senate years as co-sponsor of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings budget-cutting law.
The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act was approved in 1985. It was designed to end federal deficits by 1991 and required automatic spending cuts if annual deficit targets were missed.
Congress rolled back the timetable each year, and the 1991 budget that was supposed to be balanced carried the second-highest deficit in history. In 1995, 10 years after the law went on the books, Rudman lamented what could have been.
“Had we stuck to that plan, had the Congress not failed to follow it through — in fact, had presidents not failed to follow through — we would not be where we are today,” Rudman said.
After Rudman left the Senate in 1993, President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, appointed him vice chairman of the influential President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
In 2001, before the 9/11 attacks, he co-authored a report on national security with former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart that said a major terrorist attack on American soil was likely within 25 years.
He was born May 18, 1930, in Boston, graduated from Syracuse University in 1952 and won his law degree from Boston College in 1960.