President: Rae Chornenky
Editor: Maria Jeffrey
This Week on the Hill:
The government shutdown enters its second week
Treasury Secretary Lew will appear before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday to discuss the debt ceiling

Federal Government Negotiations


          As the second week of a government shutdown looms ahead, it seems that a solution will happen only as part of negotiations on the country's debt ceiling later in the month.

          Republicans in the House have voted "mini" spending bills to continue funding the District of Columbia, national parks, medical research, federal disaster aid and food for poor families.  The Democrat-controlled Senate, however, has chosen to ignore these bills claiming there needs to be a more comprehensive approach. Even though snubbed by Senate Democrats, House GOP leaders plan to act on at least eight more of the spending bills this week dealing with, among other things, funding the government's nuclear weapons security activities, the Food and Drug Administration, intelligence operations and border security.                 
          The Republican National Committee 'revisited the record' on raising the debt ceiling and found the following:  
  • As a U.S. Senator, as appears in the Congressional Record, Barack Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling saying, "raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure."  He added "America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.  Americans deserve better."
  • In 2007, then-Senator Obama did not vote during the vote to raise the debt limit.        
  • In 2006, then-Senator Obama voted against the Senate resolution to increase the debt ceiling.          
  • The March, 2006 Congressional Record quotes then-Senator Obama as saying, "This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States ... robbing our families and our children ... robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on."
  • When voting in 2006, Obama stated, "We are voting on the budget today.  It's a sad state of affairs.  We just voted to increase the debt limit ... So we've got to get our fiscal house in order here in Washington.  I'm not sure it's going to happen under the current leadership in Congress (spoken when the debt exceeded $8 trillion as opposed to the $16.7 trillion it is today).          
  • Then-Senator Joe Biden voted against raising the debt limit in 2003 and 2006 and did not vote during the vote to raise the debt limit in 2004 and 2007. 
  • Senator Harry Reid, in 2006, voted against increasing the debt ceiling saying, "Under the circumstances, any credible economist would tell you we should be reducing debt, not increasing it."         
  • Representative Nancy Pelosi claimed "... part of the Democrats' plan is a call to require fiscal responsibility, following pay-as-you-go rules that prevent deficit spending.  And they note that it is under a Republican president and Congress that the federal deficit has soared to new levels" (again, when the debt was approximately half of today's $16.7 trillion debt).  (Chicago Tribune, 6/15/06)

           Republicans are correct in stating that Obama and the Democrats' refusal to negotiate over the debt limit is out of line with history, reality and the American public.  When Obama alleged, in Remarks at the Roundtable

in Washington, D.C. on September 18, 2013, that the debt ceiling has never been used as a negotiating tactic to achieve legislative concessions saying, "You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a president or a governing party, and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and have nothing to do with the debt," he ignored the truth.  Since 1978, more than half the increases in the debt limit have been accompanied by legislation dealing with other matters, according to the Congressional Research Service.  Indeed, the Washington Post's 'Fact Checker' gave Obama "Four Pinocchios" for his untruthful remark the day after Obama made his statement:  "Clearly, Obama's sweeping statement does not stand up to scrutiny.  Time and again, lawmakers have used the 'must pass' nature of the debt limit to force changes in unrelated laws."
Two Different Fights: The Continuing Resolution and the Debt Ceiling

         As the government shutdown enters a second week,
 it is imperative that Republicans do not forget that the debate over the Continuing Resolution and the looming debate over raising the debt ceiling do not get confused. The facts: 
  • Fiscal Year 2013 ended on October 1, 2013. Without a budget, Congress has to pass Continuing Resolutions in order to appropriate money to fund the government. House Republicans decided to attach a measure defunding Obamacare to the Continuing Resolution (CR) to the Senate, where it was rejected. This was repeated in the last days of September before the shutdown. Ultimately, it resulted in a stalemate in Congress and a shutdown ensued, meaning that out of 4.1 government employees around 800,000 were furloughed. The origin of the CR fight is the funding for Obamacare, and it's important that Republicans stay on message as we enter into the second week of the shutdown.
  • The debt ceiling is the legal limit the federal debt can reach. It has been raised 10 times since 2001, according to the Congressional Research Service. If the debt ceiling is reached, the Treasury Department will have to prioritize payments. According to the Wall Street Journal, on October 15th, the Treasury Secretary will only have $30 billion on hand to make interest payments; on October 31, an interest payment of $5.9 billion is due; on November 1, a $50 billion payment is due for Medicare, Social Security, and military pay; on November 15th, another $30 billion interest payment is due.
          While the fight over the debt ceiling is important, Republicans on the ground should reinforce the fact that the debt ceiling fight and the Continuing Resolution/Obamacare fight are two different things that happened to come up around the same time. 
National Federation of Republican Women | 1-800-373-9688 | |
124 N. Alfred Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Like us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved.