Eight Republican Senators – David Vitter (R-LA), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), John Ensign (R-NV), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today expressing dissatisfaction with his leadership – and offering a threat to derail the Senate until it improves.
Specifically, the letter protests Reid’s tactic of limiting debate on spending proposals. The senators also threatened to derail consideration of any legislation that doesn’t reduce debt and the size of government.
“We’re telling Sen. Reid that we’ll object to any legislation that fails to directly address meaningful spending cuts. If Reid agrees to dedicate significant floor time to debate spending and debt well in advance of the federal government reaching our statutorily-mandated debt limit, then we’ll withhold our objection,” Vitter said.
March 10, 2011
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
S-221 Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 25015
Dear Leader Reid:
Yesterday, the Senate voted on two proposals to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. This debate gave only a limited (three hours) opportunity to debate what many Americans believe is the issue of our time – cutting government spending and dramatically reducing our national debt. Additionally, no member of the Senate was permitted to offer amendments under the structured process, which in our opinion prevents a full, open, and robust debate.
With our national debt poised to reach its $14.3 trillion limit in the very near future, taxpayers expect Congress to work together to reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending and be more vigilant about how we spend public funds. The American people want Congress to deal with the tough issues of cutting spending, and almost every member of the Senate has agreed that we must address our fiscal situation immediately.
While there are certainly many issues that warrant the Senate’s consideration, we feel that the Senate must not debate and consider bills at this time that do not affirmatively cut spending, directly address structural budget reforms, reduce government’s role in the economy so businesses can create jobs, or directly address this current financial crisis.
The American people resoundingly rejected the way the Senate waited until Christmas Eve as a mechanism to force hurried debate on President Obama’s massive health care legislation. Voting to proceed to another legislative measure effectively runs away from the central issues of spending and debt and repeats that flawed process.
We, therefore, are notifying you of our intention to object to the consideration of any legislation that fails to directly address this crisis in a meaningful way. Our objections would be withheld if the Senate agrees to dedicate significant floor time to debate this issue well in advance of the federal government reaching our statutorily mandated debt limit.