Skip to comments.Senate Leaders Urge President Obama To Consider “Any Lawful Steps” To Avoid Default
Posted on 01/11/2013 1:19:24 PM PST by mdittmar
Washington, D.C. Senate Democratic Leaders sent a letter to President Obama today urging him to consider taking unilateral action to protect Americas economy in the face of continued intransigence and obstruction from Republicans.
In the event that Republicans make good on their threat by failing to act, or by moving unilaterally to pass a debt limit extension only as part of unbalanced or unreasonable legislation, we believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis without Congressional approval, if necessary, the leaders write.
Senate leaders made clear their willingness to pursue balanced approach to cutting spending and reducing our deficit, but reiterated their insistence that any approach be a balanced between smart cuts and revenues from the wealthiest Americans.
The full text of the letter is below.
January 11, 2013
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you know, Republican leaders are threatening to bring on an economic catastrophe unless Democrats make deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
This threat is outrageous and absurd. Defaulting on Americas legal obligations would undermine the American economy and spread global economic havoc. Just two years ago, Speaker Boehner himself admitted that failure to raise the debt limit would be a financial disaster, not only for us, but for the worldwide economy.
It is hard to imagine that the Speaker and Leader McConnell would really follow through on their threat to let our nation default on its debts. They are responsible leaders who know better. Sadly, some of their Republican colleagues do not. Therefore, we believe that you must make clear that you will never allow our nations economy and reputation to be held hostage. In the event that Republicans make good on their threat by failing to act, or by moving unilaterally to pass a debt limit extension only as part of unbalanced or unreasonable legislation, we believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis without Congressional approval, if necessary.
As you know, increasing the debt limit does not authorize new spending. It merely ensures that we meet our existing obligations. Those obligations were incurred by both Republicans and Democrats, and are the responsibility of all Americans.
Accordingly, we hope that you will continue to ignore claims that agreeing to an increase in the debt limit would somehow represent a concession by Republicans to Democrats. All Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike, have a stake in ensuring that our country meets its legal obligations. Financial markets have long viewed securities backed by the full faith and credit of the United States as the most trustworthy in the world. This lowers borrowing costs for homes, cars, and college for all Americans and strengthens our economy. If we violate that trust for the first time in history, we will never fully regain it, and every American will suffer.
For all these reasons, we support your view that an extension of the debt limit is not something for which Democrats should have to negotiate. At the same time, as a separate matter, we agree about the importance of developing a broad, bipartisan agreement on fiscal policy that strengthens our economy and reduces our long-term budget deficit.
As you have said, any such agreement must treat all Americans fairly and include not just responsible spending cuts but additional revenue from the wealthy and the elimination of wasteful tax breaks. It would be wrong to slash earned benefits for seniors and middle class families, while allowing corporations, millionaires, and billionaires to continue to exploit wasteful tax loopholes. We therefore hope that you will continue to insist that the entire budget be on the table, and that any agreement be fully balanced and fair.
Thank you for your consideration of our views.
Senator Harry Reid
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senator Parry Murray
A PDF of the letter can be found online here.
When has the Kenyan ever worried about something needing to be “lawful”? That boy plays on his own playing field and he makes up the rules as he goes along.
What a farce. The US Gov’t has more than enough income to pay interest on its debts - and by law, payment of legal debts comes first.
In sum, the US will not default, but it WILL need to make ver hard choices on all spending, particularly on Soc. Sec. and Medicare
Boehner’s office called. He just wet his pants.
So, we have the Senate telling the executive to bypass the House of Representatives?
The Senate weasels should be asking him to abdicate from his oval throne room which he has occupied illegally for over four years now!
Instead they plead with the illegal rat to behave peaceably and do the right thing. The right thing would be to leave him with a lugar on his desktop.
I would like to see the Senate Democrats take a “lawful step” toward avoiding default. Maybe something like PASSING A BALANCED BUDGET. You know, the sort of thing that’s in their Constitutional job description.
The Sen(ile)ate has not passed a Budget in over 1300 DAYS!
No, a Lugar goes under the desk. A Luger with one cartridge would go on top of the desk along with a shot of schnapps.
Borrowing is not a power of the president - it’s reserved for the Congress.
But they’re going to do it anyway so....
Deep cuts to SS and Medicare? Is that even true?
Soooo...Why are we not seeing Bhoner and McConnel on the steps of the Supreme Court demanding an injunction to preempt the usurpation of Constitutional authority?
Nevermind. I already know the answer.
Leaving aside, for the moment, the (quite obvious) class warfare this evokes, it should be evident that the left's idea of "smart" cuts would necessarily exclude entitlements, which are the primary drivers of the annual deficit...
Anyone wondering why Obama takes it up[on himself to make his own rules??
Because he knows he is backed by these traitors, Treasonous Democrats who implore him to ignore the laws of this country and become the dictator he is.
We dont need to get rid of Obama we need to get rid of every Democrat traitor on the Hill and half the Republicans.
It’s hard to imagine a Congress that is not only willing to destroy itself ,but is anxious.
If there was one opposition party in congress obama’s vacation budget would be zero. And that’s just the start. Remember in 2010 congress was going to defund obamacare? Yeah, right.
The real power here is not the debt ceiling.
Funding authorization for the US Government Continuing Resolution expires March 31. Whereas some method of getting around the debt ceiling (which does not exist in the Constitution) is at least possible, continuing government operations with no funding authority is not.
It is THERE that the GOP has leverage. The idea was to include a CR extension with the debt ceiling deal. If there is no deal, there is no extension.
I note that most of these outrageous statements happen right after Rush’s show on Fridays.
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