Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
Yesterday, Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor argued that the fact that they are considering an increase in the debt limit is a concession, as both parties try to negotiate a large, comprehensive agreement to reduce the deficit and ensure America pays its bills. Ensuring America pays its bills isn’t a concession—it’s their responsibility. After all, their own budget, which nearly every Republican voted for, raises the debt limit and it was their policies that created most of our debt:
Republicans didn’t abandon that responsibility under Republican presidents. In fact, they raised the debt limit 34 times since President Regan:
- Reagan raised the debt limit 18 times, increasing the debt limit by 200%
- President George H.W. Bush raised the debt limit 9 times (increasing the debt limit by 50%)
- And President George W Bush raised the debt limit 7 times (increasing the debt limit by 90%)
Republicans cannot pin the debt limit request solely on Democrats. Instead of walking away from an opportunity to seriously address the deficit, it’s time for Republicans to share responsibility in addressing the debt they help create and ensure we pay our nation’s bills.