Murkowski to Obama: No Double Standard for Debt Ceiling

Senator Tells Obama that Congress Will Not “Surrender” Funding Oversight

Senator Lisa Murkowski has joined 43 of her Republican colleagues in responding to President Obama’s demand to remove Congressional involvement in raising the debt ceiling – a clear abrogation of the check-and-balance role of the legislative branch spelled out by the U.S. Constitution – as negotiations proceed to avert the fiscal cliff.  In a letter (attached) to the President, Senator Murkowski and her colleagues pointed out that every significant step towards bipartisan deficit reduction in the last 27 years has been done through debt ceiling negotiations.

“It’s a seriously troubling development as the United States Congress is negotiating a responsible path to take us away from higher and higher debt, that the President is essentially asking for a credit card with no limit,” said Murkowski.  “I’m willing to listen to suggestions and proposals from both sides of this debate, but the President’s idea isn’t paving a route to fiscal responsibility, it’s a wrong turn.”

As part of President Obama’s opening offer in the present fiscal cliff discussions to avoid tax hikes on most Americans and across-the-board government cuts, he said that the White House should be able to unilaterally raise the nation’s debt limit – despite the fact that as a U.S. Senator he took the public stand that Congress must approve debt ceiling increases.  In the letter to the President, Murkowski and her colleagues wrote:

“You have said that substantial increases in the national debt are ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unpatriotic,’ and you once pledged to cut the budget deficit in half. We agree that Washington must rein in the debt, which is one reason we strongly oppose your proposal to eliminate Congress’s role in establishing a federal debt limit … For Congress to surrender its control over the debt limit would be to permanently surrender what has long provided the best opportunity to enact bipartisan deficit reduction legislation.”