WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) recently co-led a letter with 46 Republican senators announcing they will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, “whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle.” Such a debt ceiling increase would be one of the dire consequences of Democrats’ proposed $3.5 trillion reckless spending spree contained in the budget resolution now before the Senate.
While Democrats are able to impose the vast expansion of federal spending on a strictly party-line basis as part of the “reconciliation process,” in a budget resolution that would drive the federal debt to $45 trillion, they appear unwilling to include a debt ceiling increase to accommodate the reckless debt levels in that Democrat-only measure. This means they would have to demand such a debt increase in a later measure, such as a continuing resolution in the fall. Such measures, unlike the budget resolution, would face a 60-vote threshold. Because 46 senators have promised to oppose such an increase, Democrats would be unable to raise the debt ceiling to accommodate their reckless spending. Any consequences to the nation’s finances would be Democrats’ alone, a result of their cowardice in not raising the debt ceiling in the one measure they can pass on a party-line basis, the $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend bill.
“When COVID reached our shores last year, our country faced an unprecedented economic threat that caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and businesses across the country to potentially close their doors. In response, I proudly worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass five bipartisan bills that provided relief to save millions of jobs and small businesses,” said Senator Tillis. “Instead of building on our bipartisan successes, President Biden and Democratic leaders decided to ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ by pushing an additional $1.9 trillion package that was light on actual COVID relief, but heavy on progressive priorities pushed by the far-left. After passage, Democrats have decided to continue their reckless spending spree and are now working to pass a partisan $3.5 trillion tax and spend package while our country closes in on $30 trillion of debt and families feel the pain of inflation. If Democrats want to plunge our nation further into debt using the reconciliation process, they should also take immediate responsibility for their decision by concurrently voting to raise the debt ceiling. That is why I joined my Republican colleagues to announce our opposition to raising the debt ceiling.”
Joining Tillis were Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), John Boozman (R-AR), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Crapo (R-ID), James Risch (R-ID), Todd Young (R-IN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Steve Daines (R-MT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Richard Burr (R-NC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Rob Portman (R-OH), James Inhofe (R-OK), James Lankford (R-OK), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Tim Scott (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).
The full text of the letter can be found here and below.
August 10, 2021
To Our Fellow Americans,
Since taking total control of the United States federal government, with the Presidency, a narrow majority in the House, and Vice President Harris providing the deciding vote in an evenly split Senate, Democrats have embarked on a massive and unprecedented deficit spending spree. Without a single Republican vote, they passed a $1.9 trillion “Covid relief” bill in March even though $1 trillion was still unspent from previous bipartisan Covid relief bills.
Now they have passed a $3.5 trillion Budget Resolution, again without a single Republican vote. The non-partisan committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has calculated that a more honest score of this budget resolution will likely exceed $5 trillion. Senate Democrats shamelessly estimate their tax and spending plan will result in a $45 trillion debt level by 2031.
In order for this spending to occur, our nation’s debt limit will have to be increased significantly. Because Democrats are responsible for the spending, they need to take responsibility for increasing the debt ceiling. They have total control of the government, and the unilateral ability to raise the debt ceiling to accommodate their unilateral spending plans. Indeed, democrats have the ability to raise the debt limit through the Budget Resolution by introducing appropriate language in the upcoming reconciliation process (or a subset of reconciliation). Doing so would not require a single Republican vote, and would appropriately require each and every Democrat to take responsibility for their out-of-control spending.
We should not default on our debts under any circumstances. If Democrats threaten a default, it will only be because they refuse to vote for the debt ceiling increase necessitated by their own irresponsible spending. Democrats, at any time, have the power through reconciliation to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling, and they should not be allowed to pretend otherwise.
We, the undersigned Republican Senators, are letting Senate Democrats and the American public know that we will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle. This is a problem created by Democrat spending. Democrats will have to accept sole responsibility for facilitating it.