Issue Toolkit:

Debt Ceiling and Spending Reform

Background information

Taxpayers across America are frustrated with spending increases over the recent years — and still, liberals in Congress want to bust through the debt ceiling and increase non-defense discretionary spending before the August recess.

There is an important distinction to be made between the debt limit and spending caps:

  • Debt Limit: The total amount of money that the federal government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations: Social Security, Medicare, interest on debt, military salaries, etc.
  • Spending Caps: The total amount of money the government is authorized to spend in order to run the government — broken up into two funding categories:
    • Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) Spending: Resources for the Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, etc.
    • Defense Spending: Resources to keep our military and national defense running

In backroom deals, Pelosi is negotiating a plan to couple raising the debt ceiling without reforms and pair it with an increase of NDD spending. Conservatives should fiercely oppose any deal that raises the debt ceiling without spending reforms.

Not only that, but liberals in Congress are prepared to increase NDD spending without any meaningful offsets.

An across the board increase in spending would be terrible for Americans. As the Heritage Foundation has demonstrated with its “Blueprint for Balance,” it is possible to increase defense spending while decreasing other discretionary spending in order to stay within the topline budget caps that the Budget Control Act set.

We are calling on conservatives in Congress to oppose any effort to raise the debt ceiling without making necessary spending reforms. The debt limit and the spending budget should be decoupled and handled individually on their own merit to ensure fiscal restraint and the best deal for Americans.

Key Talking Points

  • Congress should not raise the debt ceiling without making necessary spending reforms. Backroom deals by liberals in Congress threaten to raise the debt limit AND increase spending at the same time. Spending reform is needed and should be included in the final bill.

  • Every spending increase should be coupled with a spending decrease. Busting through our spending caps will only increase our massive $22.5 trillion national debt.

  • Defense spending cannot be sacrificed for increases in NDD spending. Our military readiness is not where it needs to be. The world is safer with a strong America and we need funding to make that happen.

  • Taxpayers lose when lawmakers are fiscally irresponsible. When lawmakers bust through the debt ceiling and fail to rein in out-of-control spending, they are wasting money that does not exist. Ultimately, the American taxpayer have to foot the bill.

  • Americans do not want to raise federal spending. More federal spending siphons more money and resources from the hard-working taxpayers across the country. We do not spend money we do not have, so the government should not either.

  • Congress has the ability to rein in out-of-control spending. As outlined in the “Blueprint for Balance,” experts at the Heritage Foundation highlight how it is possible to increase defense spending while decreasing other discretionary spending in order to stay within the topline budget caps that the Budget Control Act set.

Call Notes

Hello, my name is [NAME] from [CITY, STATE] and I’m calling today to ask that my senator to oppose this terrible budget act.

This deal will suspend the debt ceiling and add $1.7 TRILLION to the national debt.

I want to see Congress get its spending problems under control. We should not be raising the debt without a plan to fix our spending problem.

An across-the-board increase in spending would be terrible for Americans like me. I’m calling on my senator to oppose any effort to raise the debt ceiling without spending reforms.

I hope my senator will stand up for me and rein in out-of-control spending, once and for all.

Thank you for passing along my message.

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Social Posts (remember to insert the social handle of your member)

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As conservatives, we must work to promote fiscal responsibility and must fight against all attempts to waste more and more taxpayer dollars. [@YOUR CONGRESSMAN] rein in out-of-control spending, once and for all. #CutSpendingNow

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Providing for our national security must always be a priority while non-defense discretionary spending, by the government, must always take into account the severity of our financial situation. #CutSpendingNow

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Americans want transparency and accountability, not secrecy and fiscal instability. #CutSpendingNow

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The United States government is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and so, it must always put Americans first and must control its spending. [@YOUR CONGRESSMAN]: reject any bill that fails to reform spending. #CutSpendingNow

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