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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) encouraged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to find common ground for a debt reduction bill that can be approved by both chambers of Congress and said Reid’s current proposal is ‘unacceptable.’ 

“Senator Reid has dismissed two solid pieces of legislation from the House that would help solve our fiscal problems through drastically reducing spending and sending a balanced budget amendment to the states. Rather than working with the members from both sides of the aisle to craft a compromise, he is wasting the little precious time there is left before we default on our financial obligations to debate a bill that is unacceptable. The American people want us to work together to solve our debt crisis so let’s find common ground that puts us on the path to fiscal responsibility,” Boozman said.

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Leader Reid: 

We are writing to let you know that we will not vote for your $2.4 trillion debt limit amendment which, if enacted, would result in the single largest debt ceiling increase in the history of the United States.  In addition to this unprecedented increase in borrowing authority, your amendment completely fails to address our current fiscal imbalance and lacks any serious effort to ensure that any subsequent spending cuts are enacted. 

The plan you have proposed would not alter the spending trajectory that is putting our economy and national security at risk.  In return for an unprecedented $2.4 trillion debt limit increase, your amendment reduces spending by less than $1 trillion over the next decade.  Setting aside the $200 billion shortfall between the CBO scored savings and the $2.4 trillion debt limit increase, identified by the Congressional Budget Office, most of the proposal’s alleged savings are based on a false claim of credit for reductions in war-related spending that were already scheduled to occur.  This amendment proposes no change to our military posture and, for that reason, these savings are the sort of widely ridiculed accounting gimmick that breeds cynicism about our ability to tackle our fiscal challenges.  The only possible justification for a $2.4 trillion increase in borrowing authority is to allow the President to avoid any accountability for these issues before his 2012 election.  It is by constantly putting off these tough decisions that we have found ourselves with a national debt nearly equal to the size of our gross domestic product.  The time for action is now, we cannot wait until we accumulate another $2.4 trillion in debt. 

For all of these reasons, we must oppose your unprecedented $2.4 trillion debt limit amendment.  Given the nation’s enormous future spending challenges, it would be irresponsible to give the President this unprecedented additional borrowing authority without requiring the enactment of significant spending reductions and reforms.  We urge you to abandon this reckless proposal and instead pursue a more responsible course of action that would rein in spending, reassure the financial markets, and help promote private sector job growth. 

The letter was signed by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Senators Alexander (R–TN), Ayotte (R-NH), Barrasso (R-WY), ?Blunt (MO), Boozman (R-AR), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), ?Coats (R-IN), Cochran (R-MS), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX,) Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), ?Enzi (R-WY), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT), Heller (R-NV), Hoeven (R-ND), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Johanns (R-NE), Johnson (R-WI), Kirk (R-IL), ?Lee (R-UT), Lugar (R-IN),? McCain (R-AZ), Moran (R-KS), Paul (R-KY), ?Portman (R-OH),? Risch (R-ID), Roberts (R-KS), Rubio (R-FL), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Thune (R-SD), Toomey (R-PA), Vitter (R-LA) and Wicker (R-MS).

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