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debt ceiling

Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski Denounces Party’s Own Plan To Hold Debt Ceiling Hostage

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

A number of House and Senate Republicans have vowed to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States by holding the debt ceiling hostage unless they get cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits.

In an interview with a local paper, Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski vocally disagreed with her colleagues on this issue:

Murkowski, at a News-Miner editorial board meeting on Jan. 9, said she doesn’t think the debt limit should be used for political leverage. Since borrowing will be required to pay off debts the country has already incurred, she said it would reflect badly on the U.S. to leave its willingness to pay those bills in doubt. […] Murkowski said not all of her colleagues in the Senate will say it out loud, but she believes most agree that failing to raise the debt limit would harm perception of the country. “If you incur an obligation, you have a responsibility to pay for that,” Murkowski said.

As we noted earlier this month, 17 currently-seated Republican Senators and 76 currently-seated Republican House members have voted for clean debt ceiling increases in the past.

Click here to pledge to hold any Democrat who agrees to a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits accountable.

76 House And 17 Senate Republicans Have Voted For Clean Debt Ceiling Hikes In The Past

Republicans want to hold the debt ceiling hostage to enact painful cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits. Democratic leaders are urging President Obama not to deal over the debt ceiling and to deny Republicans their leverage.

Here’s a bit of information that may help that cause. We’ve tallied the votes on previous clean hikes of the debt ceiling, and found that 76 currently-seated  House Republicans have voted for clean debt ceiling hikes in the past. Here are their names:

Reps. Jo Bonner (R-AL), Mike Rogers (R-AL), Robert Aderholt (R-AL),  Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Don Young (R-AK), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Buck McKeon (R-CA), Edward (Ed) Royce (R-CA), Gary Miller (R-CA), Ken Calvert (R-CA),  Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jeff Miller (R-FL),  Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), John Mica (R-FL), C. W. Bill Young (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Jack Kingston (R-GA), John (Phil) Gingrey (R-GA), Michael (Mike) Simpson (R-ID), John Shimkus (R-IL), Thomas (Tom) Latham (R-IA), Steve King (R-IA), Edward (Ed) Whitfield (R-KY), Harold (Hal) Rogers (R-KY), Rodney Alexander (R-LA), David (Dave) Camp (R-MI), Frederick (Fred) Upton (R-MI), Michael (Mike) Rogers (R-MI), Candice Miller (R-MI), John Kline (R-MN), Samuel (Sam) Graves (R-MO), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO), Lee Terry (R-NE), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Christopher (Chris) Smith (R-NJ), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Peter (Pete) King (R-NY), Howard Coble (R-NC), Michael Turner (R-OH),  John Boehner (R-OH), Patrick (Pat) Tiberi (R-OH),  Frank Lucas (R-OK), Tom Cole (R-OK), Greg Walden (R-OR),  Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Joseph Pitts (R-PA), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Samuel (Sam) Johnson (R-TX), Ralph Hall (R-TX), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Joe Barton (R-TX), John Culberson (R-TX), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Kay Granger (R-TX), William (Mac) Thornberry (R-TX), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Lamar Smith (R-TX),  Michael Burgess (R-TX), John Carter (R-TX), Peter (Pete) Sessions (R-TX),  Rob Bishop (R-UT), J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Robert (Bob) Goodlatte (R-VA), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Frank Wolf (R-VA),  Doc Hastings (R-WA), Shelley Capito (R-WV), Paul Ryan (R-WI), F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI), Thomas (Tom) Petri (R-WI)

Additionally, 17 currently-seated Republican Senators have voted for a clean debt ceiling hike in the past. Here are their names:

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard …

Republican Senator: We’ll Shut Down The Government If Democrats Don’t Cut Medicare Benefits

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)

Republicans are already threatening to refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless their demands are met. On MSNBC this morning, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said that Republicans should be willing to shut down the government if Democrats don’t agree to a “restructuring the entitlement programs” — code for cuts to benefits:

TOOMEY: We Republicans need to be willing to tolerate a temporary, partial government shutdown, which is what that could mean. And get off the road to Greece because that’s a road that we’re on right now. We can only solve this problem by getting spending under control and restructuring the entitlement programs. This president doesn’t want to go there. We’re going to have to force it, and we’re going to have to force it over the debt ceiling.

Watch it:

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Toomey has been an advocate of raising the retirement age to cut benefits for seniors.

Click here to pledge to hold any Democrat who agrees to a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits accountable.

House Democrat: If Republicans Hold Debt Ceiling Hostage, Invoke 14th Amendment To Raise It

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)

Some leading Republicans are starting to openly talk of once against holding the debt ceiling hostage in order to get Democrats to agree to painful cuts. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) even suggested using the debt ceiling as “leverage” to force Democrats to agree to cuts in Medicare and Social Security Benefits.

House Democrat Peter Welch (D-VT) has had enough with these hostage tactics. This week, he began circulating a letter among his colleagues that asks President Obama to use every means at his disposal — including invoking the 14th amendment — to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling in the event that Republicans once again try to hold it hostage. Here’s a full copy of the letter:

Dear Mr. President,

As you know, Speaker Boehner has explicitly stated that he will withhold support for raising the debt ceiling as leverage to win concessions in fiscal negotiations with the White House.  This is the same tactic he used in August 2011 at great expense to the American economy.  The result was an additional $18.9 billion in interest over 10 years and America’s first ever credit downgrade.

We fully support your view that Congress should not “play this game.” Threatening default on our nation’s debt is an economic weapon of mass destruction that will have immediate and catastrophic consequences for the economy as well as America’s standing in the world.

In the event the Speaker follows through on his reckless threat, we would support your use of any authority available to you, including the 14th amendment, to preserve America’s full faith and credit and prevent further damage to our economy.

Earlier, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), too, threatened to use the debt ceiling to force President Obama to cut Medicare benefits. In the event that Republicans should follow through with …