Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama is now in his 5th term in Congress. With four more years left in his current term, he says two big issues that need to be resolved involve problems with the social security system and medicare.
"With social security, some people believe it's good for 25 years or 30 maybe 40 years. We could extend it for the baby boomers. There are a couple of proposals and they make sense and we've got to do it, democrats and republicans," says Shelby.
When it comes to compromise, Senator Shelby says there are a few areas where members of the two major parties do agree.
'The president talked about this and made some sense; any adjustment to social security is based on the wage index, not the price of goods and services, and we could change that. Also, we need to up the age of social security; we all live longer. If we did this gradually, where you could plan for it, we could save social security a trillion dollars probably overtime."
As for healthcare, Senator Shelby voted against the Healthcare Reform Bill, which is often referred to as 'Obamacare,' and says that he would do it again because he feels that it will ultimately lower the quality of healthcare in the U.S.
Although Senator Shelby does not agree with the healthcare changes that are taking place, he does agree that not addressing the state of the nation's healthcare system is not an option.
"Medicare's growing faster than just about anything in the budget. How we deal with that, there's no easy solution or real proposals out there on that yet."
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shelby is currently the top ranking republican in one of the most powerful committees within his chamber.