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Mr. President: Don't Get Suckered Into Owning The Debt Ceiling Increase

In an internal FreedomWorks memo obtained by POLITICO, the group’s vice president of legislative affairs, Jason Pye, warned Republicans that conservatives will not support a “clean” debt limit increase — that is, one without any spending cuts attached.

Traditionally, Presidents want a “clean” debt ceiling increase because they want the freedom to spend the money Congress appropriates without direction – or at least with minimal direction – from Congress.

National debtNaturally, President Trump wants Congress to send him a “clean” bill to raise the government’s debt ceiling, the White House said last week, a position in apparent opposition to conservatives who traditionally demand new curbs on spending in exchange for authorizing more debt.

However, President Trump shouldn’t get suckered into owning the debt ceiling increase, because the problem with spending and the debt ceiling isn’t one created by the Executive Branch run by the President, because it is Congress that holds the purse strings and Congress that authorizes and appropriates the money spent.

The government has been bumping up against the nearly $20 trillion debt ceiling for months, and the Treasury Department has been using “extraordinary measures” to keep from breaching it. The department says it will run out of room by Sept. 29.

Despite record tax collections the debt has continued to rise, albeit not at the pace that it did during the Obama years when Republican majority congresses routinely authorized the vast deficits that Obama demanded.

And man have they been spending.

The federal government posted a $90 billion budget deficit for June versus a year-earlier surplus of $6 billion as receipts failed to keep pace with growth in outlays.

The June deficit exceeded analysts’ estimates of a $35 billion deficit.

Receipts for June grew 3 percent to $339 billion, while outlays, including some accelerated payments, grew 33 percent to $429 billion.

Receipts up 3 percent, outlays up 33 percent; anyone see a problem here?

One way to solve this problem might be for Congress to take a serious look at some of the ideas FreedomWorks has been circulating around Capitol Hill, including demanding spending caps or cuts to both mandatory and discretionary spending; capping federal outlays as a percentage of the gross domestic product and requiring a balanced budget amendment to be submitted to the states; or capping federal spending at a set figure, while demanding a required 1 percent reduction in federal spending for five years to balance the federal budget.

FreedomWorks also suggested enticing conservatives with one of the House’s regulatory reform bills that it has already passed, particularly the REINS Act and Regulatory Accountability Act, which would amend the Congressional Review Act to ensure that economically significant rules are subject to congressional approval.

Conservatives have heard time and again that the Republican Party’s Capitol Hill establishment really wants to cut spending; they just want to do it a little slower, or in different areas or through different means than what principled small government constitutional conservatives recommend.

The problem for the Congressional Republicans is not that the public isn’t ready for smaller government – a large majority of Americans think the size and growth of government are the greatest threats to the freedom of the ordinary citizen.

The problem is the Republican leadership has no real interest in smaller government.

Back in July, the House Freedom Caucus laid out three possible demands they could make in talks to raise the debt ceiling. The changes being sought by the House Freedom Caucus are reflected in a bill introduced by Rep. Dave Schweikert, (AZ-6) called the Debt Ceiling Alternative Act. Under that bill, the government would only be allowed to issue debt to pay off principal and interest on the debt.

It would also call on the government to rescind unobligated funds and sell off assets in order to stay under the debt ceiling, reported Pete Kasperowicz of the Washington Examiner.

Unfortunately, it's not clear if GOP leaders in the House or the Senate will accept the House Freedom Caucus language or any of the FreedomWorks ideas.

We’ve seen this scenario from the Capitol Hill Republican establishment a dozen times before.  There’s brave talk of holding firm on spending, passing “Cut, Cap and Balance” and other reforms, but when push comes to shove there are plenty of establishment Republicans, such as Rep. Leonard Lance of New Jersey and Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, who have as little interest in cutting spending as do the Democrats.

They will be whispering in the back of the closed-door GOP Conference meeting that Republicans are getting killed by this or that interest group that feeds at the federal trough.  Add that to the establishment media’s howls of protest about all the poor people or “priorities” that will be hurt if spending is cut and we predict another Republican leadership betrayal of conservative principles like we saw in the debt ceiling debates while Obama was President.

The only way this is going to change is if grassroots conservatives turn out and demand that spending be cut, as President Trump’s budget proposed, and that debt reforms be implemented now.

We urge CHQ readers to get ready for a fight on the debt ceiling by calling talk radio and writing letters to the editor urging President Trump not to get suckered into owning the debt ceiling increase and to instead demand that spending be cut and that the automatic increases in the debt ceiling be ended.

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No Debt Ceiling increase

President Donald J. Trump should not give in to demands by the establishment Republicans and Democrats because its a waste of money that is driving the deficits enormously adding to our already trillion dollar debt. We need common sense spending that will cut the deficits and offset the trillion dollar debt to improve the credit rating which is AAA+
We don't need to raise the debt ceiling instead, cut deficit spending that will balance the budget.