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Friday, April 29, 2011

Democrats Join Republicans Insisting On Spending Cuts Tie In To Debt Limit Increase

With a national debt of over $14 trillion, government spending out of control and the very public battle between political parties showing Republicans insisting on spending cuts and Democrats fighting against them, the White House now needs Congress to increase our debt ceiling.

Republicans in Congress have insisted that any increase be tied to more spending cuts and a fiscal plan that shows Congress is serious about reducing the debt.

The Senate is still controlled by a Democratic majority and any deal made on raising the debt ceiling which includes spending cuts, will have to include Democratic support and it looks like that support is there.

Wapo reports:

The push-back has come in recent days from Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a freshman who is running for reelection next year. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) told constituents during the Easter recess that he would not vote to lift the debt limit without a “real and meaningful commitment to debt reduction.”

Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), generally a stalwart White House ally, is undecided on the issue and is “hopeful” that a debt-ceiling bill can be attached to a measure to cut the federal deficit, said her spokesman, Linden Zakula. Klobuchar is also up for reelection next year.

Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.)releases a statement explaining why so many Democrats are joining with Republicans to insist deficit reduction be a part of the package.

“As catastrophic as it would be to fail to raise our debt ceiling, it’s even more irresponsible to not take this opportunity to own up to our unsustainable spending path,” Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.), another Democrat challenging the White House, said in a statement his office released this week. “If we don’t take action to reduce our deficit spending, Congress will be facing this same debt ceiling vote in the near term – still with no end to our deficits in sight.”

Polls conducted by a variety of sources, from January 2011 (Reuters) and as recently as April 2011, (CBS News) show that there is consistent opposition by Americans voters to raising the debt limit.

In 2012, 23 Democratic Senate seats are in play and 10 Republican Senate seats, so decisions made now will be watched and judged and will undoubtedly be a factor in how constituents vote in those elections.

Resurgent Republic:

President Obama’s policy of raising the federal debt limit without any preconditions relating to limiting spending, i.e. a "clean debt limit," is supported by only one-out-of-ten voters, the least popular option of three presented in a Resurgent Republic survey conducted jointly with the American Action Forum.

The second-ranking option overall is "not raising the debt limit under any circumstances." That option places second among Independents and Democrats, and is the top preference for Republicans.

The preferred option, drawing support from a plurality of voters overall, is "raising the debt limit, but only in exchange for substantial spending cuts and a commitment to reduce the deficit." The days of "routine" debt limit increase votes may be history, with voters holding firm views about the debt ceiling vote in a time of concern over the economy and a pervasive view that "we have got to stop spending money we don’t have," as has been seen in previous Resurgent Republic polling.

The Democrats listed above understand the Republicans in Congress enjoy an overwhelming amount of public support to lower the deficit, cut spending and get our fiscal house in order.

They understand this because their chances at being reelected depend on it.

Semi-related :

McConnell turns the tables on Reid in budget fight

“I understand that the Majority Leader would like to have a vote on the House-passed Ryan budget and we will,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement. “But we’ll have a vote on the President’s budget at the same time. Since there is no Democrat budget in the Senate, we’ll give our colleagues an opportunity to stand with the President in failing to address the problems facing our nation while calling for trillions in new spending, massive new debt and higher taxes on American energy, families and small businesses across the country.”