In a demonstration of unity, conservatives issued a statement on Thursday morning demanding Republicans in Congress stand up to Obama’s bullying by banding together and refusing to raise the debt limit unless Congress passes, and Obama signs into law, significant spending cuts that will put the US on a ten-year path to balanced budget.
Former Attorney General Ed Meese, former Senator from South Carolina Jim DeMint, and the new President of the Heritage Foundation called a meeting Wednesday of the Conservative Action Project (CAP) to outline the position that had been developed over the past several days by several conservatives to address the debt ceiling issue.
Attended by over 40 conservative leaders, the group unanimously endorsed the statement, which is being circulated today to members of Congress. It will be hand-delivered to Congressional Republicans attending a two-day retreat in Williamsburg, VA, where it is sure to be a hot topic of debate.
The statement debunks both the Obama-led idea that Congress must raise the debt ceiling with no strings attached and the belief that the Treasury will default on its debts unless more borrowing power is granted by Congress. Instead, a debt increase must be accompanied by rational spending cuts that will guarantee a balanced budget within ten years – a doable undertaking and the subject of several Republican-sponsored bills waiting to be dealt with by the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Republican members of Congress take statements like today’s seriously, as they represent the voices of millions of members that form the bedrock of the party. Just a couple of weeks ago, Senator Pat Toomey, (R-PA) told members of CAP that the backing of the grassroots as expressed in these statements made all the difference as to whether members supported such legislation.
Congressman Steve Scalise from Louisiana, new chairman of the Republican Study Committee and a supporter of the position of the CAP statement, told CAP just last week that CAP’s support was crucial to getting the Leadership to bring bills to the floor of the House.
Besides demanding a ten-year program to balance the budget in return for a debt increase, the statement demands that Republican members support no more tax increases, and that taxes remain at their historical level of 18.5 percent of GDP; that there be an end to politically-constructed cliffs and crises; and the bill-paying by the Treasury Department be prioritized, paying interest on the debt first in order to avoid federal debt default.
The statement issued today follows: