Op-Eds

Text of letter from Congressman Reed to President Obama. The letter was co-signed by 64 other Members of Congress.

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Washington, DC, July 20, 2011 | comments

July 18, 2011

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

The nation’s spending is out of control. This is clearly evidenced by the necessity of your request to increase our nation’s debt limit. This step became necessary because - quite simply - we have become accustomed to a pattern of massive borrowing for spending rather than responsible budgeting.  

It is regrettable that we have reached this point, but the time for blame is long past. This is not a partisan crisis. It is a national crisis.  However, we remain optimistic that the current negotiations give us an unusual opportunity to ensure we put our country on a path to fiscal solvency once and for all. 

In written proposals and adopted budgets scored by the Congressional Budget Office, House Republicans have been clear on our plans to deal with the debt-driven crisis: spending cuts, no tax increases, and long-term reforms that fix the problem now and avoid passing this to the next generation. However, Mr. President, you have not submitted a written proposal.   

Because you have not presented any written detailed proposal to raise the debt ceiling, our constituents are left in the dark as to what specific cuts you propose as well as what taxes you are planning to raise. We have heard that your proposal really consists of $3 Trillion Dollars in new tax revenues/fees with only $1 Trillion Dollars in "cuts". 

Thus, we are waiting for your detailed proposal but must stress time is critical and your continuing failure to respond will only hamper our ability to avert this crisis. In fact, more than 30 days ago, on June 6, 2011, our colleague Diane Black led on a letter from 76 members of the House of Representatives asking for details of your proposal to raise the debt ceiling. We have not yet received any response.

You cannot expect us as representatives of our constituents to agree to a debt ceiling proposal without offering details, hard timelines and accountability for those spending cuts. We want to work with you but cannot blindly allow more to be borrowed today in the names of today’s taxpayers and future generations of taxpayers in return for your ambiguous rhetoric.

Given the significance of our debt-driven crisis and the historic importance of the negotiations, we believe it is imperative that the work towards any agreement be as transparent as possible so that American people have a chance for careful evaluation of the process free from political posturing. Thus, we respectfully demand you immediately submit a written, detailed plan for your proposal to deal with this debt crisis.

The hardworking American people deserve to know what your specific priorities are. We await your response to this letter and look forward to working with you to resolve this crisis.

            Sincerely

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