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‘GOP gave up on debt-ceiling battle in August’

House Republicans rejected Obama’s debt-ceiling hike today – but their vote is merely symbolic, thanks to the bipartisan deal reached last summer that gave the president authority to propose increases that may only be blocked by a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate.

“We lost this battle in August,” said Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C. “We could have stopped the debt-ceiling from going up and we didn’t.”

Join the “No More Red Ink” campaign and send red letters to each and every House Republican by Federal Express delivery for only $29.99.

Mulvaney said today’s gesture doesn’t give him much solace because Republicans essentially handed President Obama a free pass on the current $1.2 trillion extension request.

“We had popular opinion on our side. It was the one chance we had to actually change Washington … and we gave the president the unilateral right to raise the debt ceiling.

“If we’d had the political will, I think we could have accomplished tremendous things.”

Mulvaney further explains why he believes the only real solution to the crisis was to reject any debt ceiling increases last year. He also addresses critics who say his approach would have devastated the U.S. credit rating.

Meanwhile, Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, is spearheading the “No More Red Ink” campaign – a yearlong effort to persuade Republicans in Congress, Republican candidates for Congress and Republican presidential candidates to take a pledge to freeze the debt limit in January 2013.

“This is a very bold campaign to ensure America remains a nation committed to constitutionally limited government,” said Farah. “I’m deeply concerned about the future of our country and believe time is running out to save it from disaster. We need to cut $1 trillion from the federal government, and the next – and maybe last – opportunity we have to do it is in 2013.”

Launched in January, the “No More Red Ink” campaign has delivered more than 1 million red letters to House Republicans urging them to freeze the debt – simply by voting no to any debt increase. However, the House Republican majority voted to approve raising the debt limit last summer and gave up its unilateral authority to stop further debt limit increases until the following session of Congress.

“It’s time to stop the buckpassing by Republicans,” Farah says. “If they want to cut out the borrowing madness, they have the power. This campaign will either succeed in solving this nightmare once and for all or reveal to the American people in no uncertain terms that Republican officeholders are simply enabling Democrats to wreck the economy, destroy America’s credit rating and trash the Constitution’s commitment to limited government.”

Farah is seeking pledges from all current Republican members of the House and Senate and all Republican candidates for the House and Senate. He is soliciting the support of Americans to do everything they can to get such commitments from Republican candidates and current members of Congress.

The simple vow Farah is asking Republicans to make is this: “I pledge to my constituents and to the American people that I will oppose any and all efforts to allow the federal government to borrow additional money by raising the debt limit, thereby forcing Washington to begin living within its means as taxpayers and their families must do.”

In addition to asking Americans to spread the word about the pledge, Farah is asking all those who agree with him to send more letters about the plan to current Republican members of the House to lay the groundwork for what he calls “a revolution in Washington” next January. Participants in the “No More Red Ink” campaign can send red letters to each and every House Republican by Federal Express delivery for only $29.99.

“The power of this campaign is amazing,” Farah said. “It’s one of the most effective and inexpensive, grass-roots lobbying efforts ever devised. So far we have delivered over 1 million letters. But we may need to send 10 million to get the job done.”