Open Letter: “No” on Debt Deal “Unless”

Heritage Action is a “no” and will remain a “no” unless a deal rises to the level of the substantial fiscal challenges which face our nation.

Debt negotiations are intensifying and conservatives are growing increasingly skeptical that the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress are willing to do what it takes to put America back on a path to prosperity. On Wednesday, Heritage Action’s CEO Michael A. Needham sent a letter to Congress outlining our position on the debt ceiling.

The text of the full letter is below:

June 29, 2011

Dear Congressman,

Over the next month, you will face tremendous pressure to accept a deal to raise our nation’s debt ceiling. Heritage Action for America will key vote the deal to raise the ceiling.

Heritage Action is a “no” and will remain a “no” unless a deal rises to the level of the substantial fiscal challenges which face our nation. A deal to raise our debt ceiling must include historic reforms that will save the American dream for our children and grandchildren. The Heritage Foundation laid out what such a package might look like: 1) cut current spending; 2) restrict future spending; and, 3) fix the budget process. Currently, there is only one plan on the table that meets this test and that is the plan embodied in the Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge. This is an example of a plan that matches the historical moment that we currently face as a nation.

In order to achieve reforms of this magnitude, Congress must do everything possible to eliminate the uncertainty surrounding Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s August 2 deadline. Congress cannot negotiate with a clear mind if the administration is constantly invoking the specter of default. As Heritage Foundation economist J.D. Foster, Ph.D. points out:

Both immediately and long after it reaches the debt limit, the government would have far more than enough revenue coming in that the Secretary of the Treasury could use to pay interest on the debt. Nor would preserving the current debt limit put at risk the full faith and credit of the United States government, as the President’s chief economic adviser has claimed. The government would continue to pay net interest as it comes due.

In the event that liberals will not allow us to raise the debt ceiling because they cannot stomach substantive, systemic changes to put the country back on sound footing, conservatives must develop a responsible plan. Congress must exercise their constitutional power of the purse, building upon the framework of the Toomey-McClintock legislation, and prioritize federal spending.

Finally, Heritage Action will require at least 72 hours to review the details of any deal to increase our nation’s debt ceiling. The Washington inclination to go behind closed doors and strike a grand deal is unacceptable. Heritage Action, and the hundreds of thousands of Americans we represent, demand transparency and accountability. Americans must feel confident their Members of Congress understand what they are voting on. There must not be another “pass the bill so that we can find out what is in it” moment. We will reserve the right to score retroactively any vote if we are given less than 72 hours to review the details.

Our nation’s problems have grown so large they are impossible to ignore. If we allow the status quo to persist, or move forward with half–measures and gimmicks, we will be sentencing our children and grandchildren to permanent economic malaise while at the same time condemning this current generation to the same fate. Indeed, the crisis is not on the distant horizon. It is here now.

We have a unique opportunity and singular responsibility before us to change course. We must rise to the challenge of the moment.


Michael A. Needham
Chief Executive Officer

Download the PDF

Please Share Your Thoughts

69 thoughts on “Open Letter: “No” on Debt Deal “Unless”

  1. I am a pretty good Conservative and I am not skeptical; I am convinced! Convinced The Obama Administration and the far left in Congress are committed to further damaging our economy and continuing their war on capitalism and our Free Enterprise system.
    We must keep pressure on our conservative congress to hold the line. We must daily help them know how terribly important this stand is.
    Thanks Heritage.

    • Balance the dang budget! Cut redundant and over-lapping programs! Defund the EPA and curb the FCC’s overreaching attempts! Reform entitlements today—don’t kick this down the road. Most of all, DO NOT RAISE THE DEBT CEILING!

      Thank you Heritage. And fellow Conservative Americans write, call, fax or email your representatives often! Make your voice heard!

      • Both Larry and Vonda’s above comments hit the nail on the head…….well said and I could not agree more!!!!

      • I agree with you! If need be cut the salaries of the President and on down by 1/2 and this will alleviate our national debt for the better. We Americans have paid enough taxes. The govt., Senators, Reps and such were all warned 30 yrs ago by me of shipping our industries overseas and using our taxpayer monies to do it. Look today and see everything I told them has come true all at the expense of us so the big companies could make more profits for themselves. Now it’s their turn to pay as well as these big businesses who previously sponged off us taxpayers. I also have something to say concerning the proposed free trade agreement with Columbia, South Korea and I can’t remember the other one off hand but here it is:
        I am writing to urge you to defer from making these trade agreements. The truth is: it will only accomplish a greater monetary wealth for the already rich! It will take the jobs from the American Peoples and what good is retraining when there Are No jobs to be had afterwords! Yes that is correct. You are taking the infrastructure from America and without this no one will be working in the end! I wrote 30 years ago and warned of taking the Americans monies and using it to send our plants over seas and told you of the situation it would create! Yes here it today and exactly as I had spoken! You think you will escape these work less pangs in the end when they finally reach you as well? I tell you differently though you may think not for I can see you plans for the future and you will not be able to retain your wealth. It shall be taken from you as well your freedoms in the end as it is written for no matter where-in you shall go it will catch you in the end and just think, you helped bring it upon yourselves and you shall literally mourn! But not by me as I’m a peaceable man and as I Have spoken before, there is ONE greater than you or I which sets upon the Throne of Earth!

    • Why have only 12 Republican Senators signed the pledge submitted by Senator Demint?
      Where is McCain,Brown, Kyle, and other so called conservatives?

    • Why are our elected offfic ials, Not doing the jobs they were elected to do,Maybe it time we had a recall of all of those who is trying to sell the True Americans out those of us who have spent our lives,fighting to Protect, what our ForeFathers founded and gave their Lives for.and As well as our veterans of all wars.,Yet only 12 elected officials signed the pledge submittede,by Sentor Demint?? The message is clear “Do Not Raise the debt Ceiling, without cuts, and a balanced budget Amendent.

  2. No means No. Do not raise the debt ceiling. Let’s get the budget balanced and under control before we move on to anything else.


  4. I fully agree that we should NOT raise the debt limit. We all know that we bring in enough to make priorirty payments without causing any crashes of stock market, etc. My fear is that democrats will fail to raise it on purpose so that they can blame republicans. They will fail to make priority payments and any damage to US economy brings them much closer to thier goal of One World Order. That is why repubs will choke. They know dems will let it crash when it could easily be avoided. So sick of this…..

    • Why doesn’t the House pass a law keeping the 2012 spending the same as 2011 and force Reid to table it again? Senator Coburn said that 2012 spending currently will automatically increase by a large amount and the Senate refuses to stop it. This new law will put another nail in the democrats coffin for 2012!

  5. My financial advisor says the best thing we could do would be to cut $1 out of every $3 now spent by the Federal Government. That would not only balance the budget but allow for a significant amount left over to start paying down the debt as it matures. Even then, we would not be paying down all the maturing debt, as a lot of it is in short term notes coming due within 3 years.

    Cutting $1 out of $3 Federal dollars spent is a tremendous cut, but it must be done asap to avoid financial collapse, which is coming sooner, rather than later. We cannot just continue to “roll over” maturing debt & add more debt on top of that. Who will buy all that debt and at what interest rate? We are “lucky” because most of our debt is low interest rate debt (I think about 2.5% on average). What if we no longer can sell them at artificially low interest rates (say it goes up to 6-10% interest)? The the interest on the debt will sky-rocket and we will really be in trouble!

    We must balance the Federal budget now! We have no time to lose & even then, it might be too late. The Democrats & Obama won’t do it. Only the Republicans have a chance & only if they show guts & use all the tools at there disposal to warn the American people of the peril we are in and come up with a solution that the majority of the people will support. If not, America will soon be bankrupt.

  6. Your letter to Congress couldn’t be more clear and specific. Now why can’t our elected officials understand something so obvious??? The Republicans had better stand firm or they face a real revolt next year.

  7. This really is a key issue. If we raise the debt ceiling any further, the house is bound to collapse.

    This is NOT a matter of calling the bank and asking for getting a little bit more credit. This is a matter of national security at every level.

  8. The spending of the Federal Government makes it look like voters have unlimited resources and unlimited patience. No increase in the debt. Make a big cut in spending. Do not give in to the pressure from the president.

  9. He wants to build in America his own socialism, and reject us in development for one hundred years back.
    I don`t know as you ,but I have already had time to live in socialism .
    MAY DAMNATION TAKE HIM with all his rulers !

  10. White House rejects McConnell invite for Obama to meet GOP
    By Alexander Bolton and Sam Youngman – 06/30/11 12:46 PM ET
    The White House has rejected Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s (Ky.) invitation for President Obama to meet Thursday with Senate Republicans about their position on the debt-ceiling talks.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney said McConnell was asking Obama to visit and “hear Republicans restate their maximalist position” in the negotiations to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

    “We know that position. That’s not a conversation worth having,” Carney said at his daily briefing.

    • We need to call the White House and tell the President to meet with the Republican Senators and to stop playing games!

  11. Yes!! Cut, Cap and Balance is the ONLY way to get this economy back on the right track and keep it that way! Cut taxes and spending, cap spending, abd obtain a BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT to keep the US economy on the straight and narrow!! This is the best answer to all of our problems, including jobs for American private sector. We also need to cut subsidies, which would save us alot of dollars, and have EXTRA to run the things that are necessary. If this passes, we could have a government SURPLUS in NO TIME!!!!

  12. Would a family deep in debt try to borrow more ? Why do memmbers of Congress act like it isn’t OUR money? Raising the debt ceiling just invites more reckless spending by Obama and his minion. No means NO! No real significant spending cuts, NO Budget. No future reining in of the budget, Means NO Budget! No new taxes or NO Budget! No balanced budget amendment, NO Budget!

  13. The Cnservatives must stand firm on not raising the debt ceiling unless there are major budget cuts.

  14. I think that the republicans will put on a good show but will cave when the time comes, they did it recently. The old guard republicans are in charge of negotiations and they are as corrupt as the democrats. These people only think about feathering their own nests and they could care less about the people of the country. This letter sounds good but it has no teeth. How is this letter going to force these corrupt politicians to do anything? By the time they can be voted out of office the country will be bankrupt and the communist party with Obama as the figure head will be in charge.

    • Not well said, Jules. If the letter has “no teeth” then what contribution does your sour speculation accomplish?! The letter at least represents all of the supporters and voters who will vote and call the leadership, instead of casting aspersions and giving up.

  15. I’ve paid, since 1971, when I first started public work. The attacks on S.S. and medicarehave got to stop. Stop all the darn waste (pork) spending and come to realization that there are to many give away programs by the Fed. Gov. Subsides are meant to help the small citizens and the large. Raising taxes for Libral waste is out of the question. Open up our energy resourses and then we WILL NOT be at the mercy of foriegn oil and WALL STREET propagander and spectulation.

  16. If the government acts responsibly by cutting the size of government and balancing the budget, there is no need to raise the debt ceiling. Raising the debt ceiling is an admission the government is unwilling to control itself. Enough is enough!

  17. If you listen to Obama, not raising the debt ceiling will lead to Armageddon which is absolutely false just like most of his iterations are.
    Mr. Speaker, Conservative Congressmen and Senators I urge and implore you to stand firm and watch Obama go into a meltdown.

  18. I’ve paid, since 1971, when I first started public work. The attacks on S.S. and medicare have got to stop. Stop and fix the fraud in the medical and Insurance system. Stop all the darn waste (pork) spending and come to realization that there are to many give-away programs by the Fed. Gov. Subsides are meant to help the small citizens and not the large. Raising taxes for Libiral waste is out of the question. Open up our energy resourses and then we WILL NOT be at the mercy of foriegn oil and WALL STREET propagander and spectulation. High energy prices have already killed our economy. With todays technology, we can protect our enviroment. Management of big comanies just have to be held accountable. Not like the BP exec.thinking our oceans are like a big bathtub.

  19. Stop The Spending!
    Why is it our Elected Officials do not understand fiscal responsibility, until they are removed from office. Why do we continue to go to War spending money this country does not have and giving billions of $$$ to other countries while the American people go hungry and jobless. Why hasn’t an independent audit been done on the Fed Reserve like Rep Ron Paul has proposed. Every American should read “The Creatures of Jerkyll Island” to understand how we have gotten into this financial banking mess beginning 1913.

  20. President Obama exposed himself to the congress and the American people when during his campaign he promised 2 things. 1 There would a website provided to display any bill put before him to sign a full 72 hours before he would sign it. This website never materialized. 2 that he would never sign a bill that had any earmarks. The first one he signed had over 9,000 earmarks

  21. Please note that Obamacare is a vote for Obamaself.

    If, we can’t stop this spending craze, then when will it stop? Will we have a country anymore? Will our enemies attack us more freely? I say let the it default now under this Obama fellow, so America can see what kind of man that he is! After, the default, America will come back and stronger than ever! After all, starting from scratch is where we all are right, now.

  22. I plead with our Congress to hold strong and the people of this great (or use to be) great country will stand strong with you. Do not let Obama and his minions take this country any futher down the hell road than already is.

    • We need a President with ancestors deep in American values. We need a President with strong family values. We need a President with deep religious values. It might be nice to add in a President with some respect for military service and the loyalty it breeds in those who serve. I find none of those with our current President. He owes his very elected office to power brokers who control his every move and every appointment he has ever made, in my estimation, and has done so since before University studies, inculcation of “Chicago-style” political machine operations, and before selling his soul to Labor Unions and George Soros’ crowd. We need a President with America deep in their veins, who loves this country for where it came from and what it is, and doesn’t feel to make excuses at every turn for being an American President. Just my thoughts, you see…..but I vote and so do many of my friends.

      • Wallace, if we could just convince a majority of the voters to think like you, we’d be in a hell of a lot better shape.

  23. Where will the money come from if we go broke, other Countries will own our Nation and we will be, up the “Creek with out a paddle”. We need a President that will work for the Nation and not just to line his pockets with worthless money. I again will vote for the person that I feel that will give us that kind of leadership.

  24. The Dollar is on the verge of collapse as a world monetary exchange. Wall Street is corrupt to the core. Unemployment is higher than at any time I can recall in my lifetime, and has continued to remain so for a longer extended time.

    We cannot spend our way out of the financial crisis the Obama Presidency has willed us into. Only serious cuts, ones that will require belt-tightening on every front will succeed.

    The United States does not need to be the social welfare agency for the world, and unless there are strategic military reasons related to our national safety, we ought to get out of countries who are happy to take our money while they give nothing in return.

    American ingenuity and entrepreneurship has worked to provide prosperity for a long time, so why does our President attack the core of what has made American business strong? It is really easy to get tired of his whining and total non-leadership.

    Lets get some Senators and Representatives who believe in America and require them to allow Americans to do what they do best, solve their own problems and take care of their own needs. We don’t need Washington telling us how to spend, how to control, what to eat or how to regulate.

    Enough is enough. Washington has failed at nearly every charge given it, and needs to get in touch with what the American people want and will honestly benefit from.

    To Senators and Representatives: We are watching and counting votes and you will be held responsible by citizens who are fed up with what looks like pure featherbedding. It is time to get real.

  25. STOP the spending. Let the government SHUT DOWN, the middle class can’t be any worse off then we already are. The government is not looking out for us. Just themselves! They try to scare, threaten, and entice us. To many citizens, taxpayers, and voters, don’t follow what these crooks are doing. They’re just trying to survive life.

    There has to be a message to them from the people, not this party or that party. From us that are suffering at the hands of the decisions these jerks are making. God Bless our children and grandchildren. They are going to need all the help they can get.

  26. Now is the time to get tough with both sides of the aisle in Congress including oboma. If I, and everyone else is to live within a fixed budget so should the incompetants we elect into office.

  27. yes there will be some jobs lost i am sure GOVERMENT job like the IRS and the EPA but they can learn to work i am sure everything but mittliary needs cutting i would like my ss check being cut but i can make it a while till companys get ppl back working but we must not raise the limit God family and country has always been i stance

  28. Our Declaration of Independence is clear : When the government no longer serves the governed then it is the duty of the governed to remove that government, and replace it with e that will.
    These liberal incumbants took an oath to defend our country and our constitution against our enemies foreign and domestic. I appears to me that from Obama on down the liberal ranks, that they have BECOME the enemy. The so called president joins a foreign government in sueing one of our own states
    to prevent that state from enforcing a federal law, he also instructs his Attorney general not to defend a federal law. What in the world will it taake to remove this impostor? God help the USA

  29. Cut, cap, and balance is the best thing proposed yet. We do need to revise Medicare and Social Security for the long term – while still protecting current retirees. We could start by aligning the start of Medicare premiums with the start of Social Security payments – one is age 65, and the other is age 67 or older – at some point in the near future. Let working seniors choose to keep their employment health benefit plans until they actually start Social Security. Shift all incentives to health and prevention by younger people. We can do this!

  30. The Obama Administration and the Democratic party are not going to honestly attempt to resolve this matter. Their only care is to raise the ceiling so that they can continue driving this great nation into ruin, which has always been Obama’s true intent. The media will play whatever tune Obama dictates, of course that will be how terrible the Republicans and all conservitives are. If the GOP bends over to go along with Obama they must and will be replaced, as seen in 2010. Everything is at stake, that includes many overpaid and underachieving politicans of both parties. I sincerely hope that this Administration, Congress and Judical forum fully realize that their current actions are causing most Americans to wonder about the necessity of another armed rebellion against a faithless, lawless and immoral government. Heck that was the practice dictated by the US Government’s agencies for many decades.

  31. Please, for the sake of , and preservation of our country, we must get total control of spending and work on balancing the budget. No ifs, ands, or buts to it!


  32. ALL of you Republicans must stand together. No more appeasement or trying to “find common ground”. The Obama administration will sing the same old song and blame the Republicans, the weather and Santa Claus for their failures. You must stand firm, refuse to raise the debt ceiling. It will not be the end of the world, it will be the end of our borrowing and the beginning of leading our country in the right direction.

  33. Lock and Load……..
    oil your guns because when it crashs (( not if )) it ain’t going to be pretty.. I already know there is no stopping them because too many of them are paid to do as the bankers and corporations tell them to do. Why so few prosecutions? It is too late… the only thing left are the hangings after the bloody revolution…… America you lost your way!

    • Jerry
      You are right this is the only country that has been to liberal with protecting our rights. Revolution I dont think that will happen as long as the government continues to grow. In the past when our first revolution happened we didnt have people breathing down our back and listening to everything said like it is today. Technology plays its part in assisting this to be done, and it will only get worse. Revolution will probably happen after this country completely falls apart but the problem is illegals in certain locatiions out number the citizens and they will fight for the government just to stay here, so yes I agree it will be a blood bath.

  34. We need to stop supporting other countries and spend the money in our own first. Stop supporting illegal immigrants and send them home. With these two things done millions if not billions of money can be saved. Obama he needs to be impeached so a true American with the true American values and morals can get into office.

  35. The Congress impeached Richard Nixon they impeached Bill Clinton now why cant they 9impeach Barack Obama? Those idiots think they can do anything theyu want to and We The People have to swallow it and grin. I say no more of their garbage and VOTE THE LIBERALS OUT OF THER OFFICE!!!!!

  36. Personally, I believe that it is 1929. LET IT FALL just like in 1929 and then build it back up again. This idea of putting band-aids on it is not going to work.

    Take away ALL of the politicians paychecks for two months and the budget will be fine.

  37. We need to pick a number, say 30% and cut the U.S. budget by that number across the board. This will provide the entitlement program and Defense cuts fairly and equally to all.

    After the 30% is taken off the top, start picking out the programs and departments that need to be eliminated. Departments of Education, Labor, Homeland Security, and Energy should be considered the “low hanging fruit” in the first round of cuts.

    Second round of cuts must be the Presidential CZAR’s and all staff associated with them. These positions are not confirmed by the Senate so they should not be paid for by the people. If a President needs a CZAR that does not go through Senate confirmation, the President needs to pay this person with his allocated Presidential budget or his own personal bank account. President Obama would not have 28 CZAR’s under this plan.

    The Third round of cuts must be welfare of all types. If you are a U.S. citizen not willing to work, then you should not have a home, purchase food, buy a car, purchase the latest fashions, get manicures and hair done, etc. If Congress does not have the stomach to eliminate welfare, then they should consider welfare as a citizenship requirement. If you are on welfare, you do not have the right to vote until you are off welfare. A person on welfare should have the same citizenship rights as a convicted fellon until they are off the welfare rolls. People who do not contribute to the Treasury of the United States should not have the right to vote on candidates or issues that affect U.S. citizens who do.

    The fourth and last issue. Cut up the credit card. I urge you and Congress to vote NO on the debt ceiling limit increase. Increasing the debt ceiling to me is like getting a fourth credit card to pay off the old third one. It is time to let the financial chips fall where they may. No more debt.

  38. We can establish a temporary fix to the problem without any draconian measures! Simply cut 10% for the remainder of this Congress, (which would be very, very easy to accomplish)!

    This would cause the perceived “need” for an increase in the debt limit to evaporate for the time being. It will also buy us enough time to establish a final, long-term fix, (perhaps after the 2012 election).

    • How many more temporary fixes do we let Congress do? Congress thinks of nothing but short term, temporary fixes for all problems facing this nation now. Unfortunately, the past temporary budget fixes have already become long term laws that are chipping away at our national prosperity. The next short term fix is the President’s new taxes on the wealthy who already pay over 60% of the tax bill in this country. With all due respect, maybe a draconian measure is necessary this time to permanently fix the debt and overspending problems this Government has created. If you or I let our personal budgets get into this condition, we’d end up in bankruptcy or possibly criminal courts.

  39. Make no compromize on further spending. Let’s wait it out. Do notvot to raise our ceiling. We will not default. November 2012 is around the corner & so is our COUNTRY.

  40. Don’t raise the debt ceiling. We can cut out all the earmarks and useless departments in the Federal Government to not have to raise the ceiling. Just the excess compensation for Congressmen and staff would do much to accomplish this.


    • Don’t raise the debt ceiling. Don’t leave it where it is. Cut the spending, cut taxes, and lower the debt.

  42. If they had started cutting months ago, when they should have, there would have to be no debate about raising the debt limit. No increase would be needed.

  43. Both parties are arguing over chump change. Thomas Jefferson said that private central banks were a bigger threat to our security than standing armies. The Fed has been loaning us fiat money for a hundred years. In that time, It has devalued our currency to the point where the dollar is worth five cents, and now we’re going to feed it our Social Security. We owe them NOTHING. They have given us Monopoly money. END THE FED. Start printing lawful, gold-backed money in the Treasury.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *