Senate Republicans vow to oppose debt limit increase unless Congress commits to spending cuts

"Americans are keenly aware that their government is not only failing to work for them — but actively working against them."

Published: January 30, 2023 3:12pm

Updated: January 30, 2023 4:19pm

A group of two dozen Senate Republicans have signed a letter vowing to oppose any increase in the nation's debt limit unless Congress agrees to spending cuts to help pay down the national debt.

"We, the undersigned members of the Senate Republican Conference, write to express our outright opposition to a debt-ceiling hike without real structural spending reform that reduces deficit spending and brings fiscal sanity back to Washington," the group, lead by Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee, wrote to President Joe Biden.

"Our nation's fiscal policy is a disaster," they continued. "Our country owes $31 trillion, a level of debt that now well exceeds the size of our economy. Inflation is making life more expensive for American families every single day."

The lawmakers then point to policies of the Biden administration, asserting they had imposed additional, onerous burdens on Americans.

"Americans are keenly aware that their government is not only failing to work for them — but actively working against them," they went on. "We do not intend to vote for a debt-ceiling increase without structural reforms to address current and future fiscal realities, actually enforce the budget and spending rules on the books, and manage out-of-control government policies."

The U.S. hit its $31.38 trillion debt limit earlier this month, prompting the Treasury to announce "extraordinary measures" to keep the government running.

Democrats have advocated for a clean increase to the debt limit, without imposing any conditions for fiscal reform, while Republicans have sought to extract spending cuts to address the ongoing debt crisis.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy committed to pursuing such a course as part of the concessions he made to House conservatives during the lower chamber's leadership contest to secure their support. McCarthy announced Monday that he would meet with Biden this week to discuss a possible debt ceiling compromise.

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