09.20.21

Lankford, Republican Colleagues Say No to Helping Democrats Increase the Debt Ceiling

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) led by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) signed a letter with 46 Republican senators promising they will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, “whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle.” A debt ceiling increase will be necessary because of Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree that will cost over $5 trillion and increase our debt to $45 trillion in 2031.

The letter puts Democrats on notice that Republicans will not help them increase the debt ceiling required by their irresponsible budget.  Democrats have the capability to increase the debt limit without Republican votes, and they will have to accept their responsibility to do so alone. 

Joining Lankford and Johnson included Senators Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Boozman (R-AR), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Crapo (R-ID), James Risch (R-ID), Todd Young (R-IN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Steve Daines (R-MT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Richard Burr (R-NC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rob Portman (R-OH), James Inhofe (R-OK), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tim Scott (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).  

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

To Our Fellow Americans,

Since taking total control of the United States federal government, with the Presidency, a narrow majority in the House, and Vice President Harris providing the deciding vote in an evenly split Senate, Democrats have embarked on a massive and unprecedented deficit spending spree. Without a single Republican vote, they passed a $1.9 trillion “Covid relief” bill in March even though $1 trillion was still unspent from previous bipartisan Covid relief bills.

Now they have passed a $3.5 trillion Budget Resolution, again without a single Republican vote. The non-partisan committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has calculated that a more honest score of this budget resolution will likely exceed $5 trillion. Senate Democrats shamelessly estimate their tax and spending plan will result in a $45 trillion debt level by 2031.

In order for this spending to occur, our nation’s debt limit will have to be increased significantly. Because Democrats are responsible for the spending, they need to take responsibility for increasing the debt ceiling. They have total control of the government, and the unilateral ability to raise the debt ceiling to accommodate their unilateral spending plans. Indeed, democrats have the ability to raise the debt limit through the Budget Resolution by introducing appropriate language in the upcoming reconciliation process (or a subset of reconciliation). Doing so would not require a single Republican vote, and would appropriately require each and every Democrat to take responsibility for their out-of-control spending.

We should not default on our debts under any circumstances. If Democrats threaten a default, it will only be because they refuse to vote for the debt ceiling increase necessitated by their own irresponsible spending. Democrats, at any time, have the power through reconciliation to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling, and they should not be allowed to pretend otherwise.

We, the undersigned Republican Senators, are letting Senate Democrats and the American public know that we will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle. This is a problem created by Democrat spending. Democrats will have to accept sole responsibility for facilitating it.

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