AFP Opposed to Both the Boehner and Reid Plans to Increase the Debt Ceiling

July 26, 2011

The following letter was sent to all of Tennessee’s Members of Congress:

Dear Member of Congress,

Runaway spending has buried the United States in debt, causing us to hit our statutory debt ceiling at $14.3 trillion. For months, lawmakers have been debating whether we should raise that debt ceiling and how to get the government’s finances in order. There is only one plan that will solve America’s debt crisis: Cut, Cap and Balance. No other plan will avoid the looming credit rating downgrade that the rating houses have indicated will occur unless we dramatically cut our deficit. The Boehner plan will not do it, and the Reid plan will not do it.

The plan put forward by Speaker John Boehner cuts a paltry $7 billion from the FY 2012 discretionary spending levels; these spending levels are higher than in the House-passed Ryan budget. Promises of further spending cuts over the next decade are dubious and will likely never occur. The plan also creates a special committee with inordinate power to craft a deficit reduction plan over the next few months. Nothing prevents this committee from using sizable tax increases, instead of spending cuts, to reduce the deficit. If it does so, the expedited procedures in the Boehner plan will remove many of the important procedural measures that currently protect the nation from huge tax increases on America’s job creators. The Boehner plan also includes the scheme first devised by Senator McConnell to hand Congress’s constitutional authority to authorize debt over to the President, while allowing members to helplessly vote against the increase using a disapproval resolution. This plan is unacceptable.

The plan proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is even worse. It contains the largest debt ceiling increase in history. While it purports to cut $2.7 trillion over ten years, a huge portion of the spending cuts are calculated by assuming reductions from war spending. The nation’s military engagements should continue or end on their own merit. Leveraging military policy to make a debt deal look more appealing is unconscionable.

Americans for Prosperity is opposed to both recent plans to increase the debt ceiling because neither will solve the nation’s fiscal crisis. We need real solutions, not another Washington deal.


Tim Phillips
Americans for Prosperity

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