PETITIONS, POLITICS — BY JOSH SAGER ON MAY 18, 2012 11:18 AM
Sign the Petition: http://forcechange.com/21178/tell-republicans-not-to-threaten-another-government-shutdown/
Target: Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Goal: To demand that the Republican Party honor the debt ceiling deal so the economic recovery is not put at risk.
In 2011, there was a near shut-down of the federal government over an increase to the debt ceiling. In order to reach an agreement, thus preventing a shutdown, a deal was struck between the Republicans in the Legislature and President Obama. Unfortunately, recent comments by Republican politicians point towards an impending reneging on the terms of this deal, potentially causing another shutdown.
The deal reached between Obama and the Republican legislature had multiple parts, and didn’t give anybody everything that they wanted. The debt ceiling was raised by $400 billion immediately upon passage of the compromise, and could periodically be raised further by the Obama Administration, but these increases could be subject to a congressional motion of disapproval (which Obama could simply veto).
In return for capitulating on the increase to the debt ceiling, the Republicans got several concessions:
- Spending was to be cut by more than the debt increase.
- Democrats capitulated on the desire for tax increases.
- A balanced budget amendment to the constitution was brought to a vote (it failed).
- A bipartisan super-congress was created to deal with debt reduction, and automatic triggers for a lack to agree guaranteed cuts.
Despite the terms of the debt deal being agreed upon, Republican Party leaders have recently signaled a desire to make the debt ceiling a fight again. In an interview this week, John Boehner signaled a potential impending fight over the final installment of the debt ceiling increase, as agreed upon last year: “Allowing America to default would be irresponsible. But it would be more irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and reform the budget process.”
Regardless of one’s partisan affiliation, most people can agree that another potential government shutdown will cause immense damage to the country’s fragile economic recovery and would harm millions of Americans. Millions of American families would not receive benefits and could fall below the poverty line and, depending upon the length of the shutdown, government jobs could be lost; we cannot afford either of these consequences, particularly considering the absolutely unnecessary nature of the fight. A deal was struck to avert this crisis last year, and those terms (whether or not one likes them) should be stuck to by both Democrats and Republicans.
This petition is intended for the two top legislative branch Republicans, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, and is intended to dissuade them from reneging upon the 2011 debt ceiling compromise. We, as a country, cannot afford needless political brinksmanship in our currently fragile economic situation.
Dear Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell,
As the federal legislative branch leaders of your party, you are in a position to avert an impending political crisis. The debt ceiling must be raised again, as agreed upon during the negotiations last year, lest the fragile economic recovery collapse. The only serious consequence of the last debt ceiling fight was a downgrade by the rating company Standard and Poor’s, but we may not be that lucky this time.
Whether or not you fully support the terms of the debt ceiling deal, it remains that this deal was willingly struck and has been held to by the Democratic Party. A vote was held on your constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget, spending was cut, the super-congress met for weeks, and no new taxes have been levied, thus showing that the Democratic party has held its end of the bargain.
The Republican Party should not violate the terms of their side of the debt ceiling deal, lest they lose all future bargaining credit and risk causing the U.S. economy to fall back into recession. If the Democratic Party cannot trust the Republican Party to keep their end of a political agreement (or vise-versa), the process of debate and agreement between the parties decays.
[Your Name Here]
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