House Speaker John Boehner
WASHINGTON – A new grass-roots campaign is underway to stop deficit spending this year by demanding the Republican majority in the House of Representatives simply say “no” to raising the debt limit.
Every Congress must affirmatively vote to raise the debt limit or the federal government is forced to live within its means rather than borrow to meet expenditures. Since Republicans gained control of the House in November, they have complete power to say no, and there’s nothing the Senate or White House can do about it.
“The House Republican majority has the power to impose the most dramatic cuts in the federal budget in decades, halting all new spending by Barack Obama and the Senate and significantly reducing the national debt by simply voting in a few weeks to oppose raising the debt limit,” says Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND and the architect of a plan to persuade GOP representatives to unify around the idea.
While some in the House leadership are already suggesting they will support raising the debt limit in March in exchange for the promise of budget cuts by Democrats, Farah says that strategy surrenders the power of Republicans alone to force a balanced budget this year. Since the debt limit cannot be raised without the approval of both houses of Congress, Republicans hold all the cards they need to stop the borrowing and the deficit spending immediately, Farah says.
“Few are recognizing what an opportunity the House Republicans have to force Washington to downsize,” says Farah. “If Republicans in the House unite around this idea, there is nothing the White House or the Senate can do to exceed the debt limit. This is a golden opportunity for real change in policy that must not be frittered away in favor of deals with the Democrats.”
Republicans have a comfortable majority in the House with 242 votes. Only 218 are needed to maintain the debt limit.
“It makes no sense for Republicans to bargain for budget cuts that Democrats themselves will be forced to implement if the debt limit is not raised in the first place,” he says. “By definition, a vote to raise the debt limit permits the Democrats to spend more money than Washington collects. Republicans will, in effect, give Democrats license to keep overspending and increasing debt by approving a debt limit increase.”
On the other hand, Farah says, all Republicans in the House have to do to force Democrats to cut spending radically for the first time in decades is to stick together in opposing a hike in the debt limit.
“They don’t even have to get 100 percent of Republican votes to start shrinking the budget,” he points out. “Only 218 are needed. And at least one Democrat, Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York, has already hinted he will vote to oppose raising the debt limit. More are likely to follow if Republican leadership recognizes the power it has.”
Sens. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., are already on record as opposing an increase in the debt limit. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., has also advocated the plan.
“There is a lot of pressure on House Republicans to simply negotiate a deal with the Democrats on budget cuts or a balanced budget in exchange for a vote to raise the debt limit,” said Farah. “To me it makes no sense. Republicans, by merely voting as a bloc in the House alone, can force bigger cuts in the budget than they will ever get in any deal with Democrats. Why would they trade that ‘nuclear option’? Republicans in the House hold all the cards. This is what they were elected to do last November – for a time such as this.”
Farah urges Americans to sign the petition to the House Republicans in droves. He will follow up the petition shortly with a massive mailing campaign targeting all 242 Republican House members.
“We’ve got to get their attention right now,” he said. “We have only weeks to ensure they get the message. Voting to raise the debt limit will be voting for business as usual. It will give Democrats and Obama license to keep spending, to enact Obamacare, to keep bailing out the wealthy and to ensure the economic train wreck is bigger and worse than we can imagine. Opposing the raising of the debt limit represents the first major step back from the economic brink for America.”