As budget talks heat up, a coalition of conservatives are proposing a solution that cuts spending across the board, caps government spending and includes a balanced budget amendment—and some Republican lawmakers are already fully behind it.
Colin Hanna, president of conservative group Let Freedom Ring, announced today on Capitol Hill the coalition’s launch of the “Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge,” which asks members of Congress and citizens to commit to opposing an “irresponsible increase in our debt limit.”
“Today’s announcement represents an historic effort by dozens of outside groups, on behalf of millions of Americans, to unify around a simple principle: We recognize that half measures and timidity will guarantee a future debt crisis in America similar to what we have seen in Europe,” Hanna said. “Cut, Cap, Balance — a bold reform plan — will force reductions in spending in the near, medium and long term and put America back on the path to fiscal responsibility instead of a future of trillion-dollar annual deficits.”
The Cut, Cap, Balance plan requires congressional passage of substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter; congressional passage of enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget; and congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution — but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.
“All lawmakers, candidates, and citizens have a golden opportunity to put the next generation ahead of the next election,” Hanna said. “Courage and leadership are required now more than ever.”
The coalition includes more than 40 outside public policy and advocacy groups whom are urging public pressure on all lawmakers and candidates to sign the pledge.
Already on board, Hanna announced, are U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), David Vitter (R-LA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK); Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Joe Walsh (R-IL), Ron Paul (R-TX), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Andy Harris (R-MD), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and Dennis Ross (R-FL). Additionally, at least nine candidates for federal office and 9,300 Americans have signed the pledge.
By signing, lawmakers essentially promise not to vote to raise the debt ceiling unless it comes with the three-tiered package of spending cuts, caps, and a balanced budget amendment.
In a recent survey of 1,000 likely voters nationwide conducted on behalf of Let Freedom Ring, 60 percent said they oppose raising the debt ceiling. When asked about the fiscal crisis, 56 percent said too much government spending was the cause, and 22 percent said Americans don’t pay enough in taxes.