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Sen. Sullivan joins 42 senators saying ‘no’ to raising debt ceiling without spending cuts, budget reforms

Alaska U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan is part of a group of 43 Republicans who put Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on notice this weekend: They are committed to opposing raising the national debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms. 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski did not sign the letter, and neither did Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, of Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri.

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As the national debt has soared since President Barack Obama took office, the U.S. Treasury Department has borrowed more money to pay for government spending. The curb on this borrowing is known as the legislative debt ceiling. The nation is at the point where the Treasury Department has spent the maximum amount authorized by Congress, and lawmakers must vote to suspend or raise the limit on borrowing.

“It is now clear that Senate Republicans aren’t going to bail out Biden and Schumer, they have to negotiate. I thank my colleagues for joining my effort to emphasize this point in the clearest possible terms,” said Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who led the group.

The nation’s economy is in free fall due to unsustainable fiscal policies, the group’s letter said. The total national debt stands at over $31.7 trillion. In fact, the U.S. government has averaged nearly $1 trillion in deficit spending every year since 2001.

“This trajectory must be addressed with fiscal reforms. Moreover, recent Treasury projections have reinforced the urgency of addressing the debt ceiling. The House has taken a responsible first step in coming to the table with their proposals. It is imperative that the president now do the same.

“As such, we will not be voting for cloture on any bill that raises the debt ceiling without substantive spending and budget reforms,” the letter concluded.

The letter is signed by Senators Mike Lee, John Barrasso, Marsha Blackburn, John Boozman, Mike Braun, Ted Budd, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Katie Britt, John Cornyn, Tom Cotton, Mike Crapo, Ted Cruz, Kevin Cramer, Steve Daines, Joni Ernst, Deb Fischer, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Bill Hagerty, John Hoeven, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Ron Johnson, James Lankford, Cynthia Lummis, Roger Marshall, Mitch McConnell, Jerry Moran, Markwayne Mullin, Pete Ricketts, James Risch, Marco Rubio, Mike Rounds, Tim Scott, Rick Scott, Eric Schmitt, Dan Sullivan, John Thune, Thom Tillis, Tommy Tuberville, J.D. Vance, Roger Wicker, and Todd Young.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, majority leader, said the Senate might consider a bill that only raises the debt ceiling but does not address the demands of these Republicans. With a 51-49 majority in the Senate, Schumer needs nine Republicans to get to the 60-vote threshold to raise the ceiling.

At this point, he probably cannot count on all of the six who did not sign the letter but who are fiscal hawks, such as Sen. Paul, Sen. Kennedy, and Sen. Hawley. He may be able to count on Sens. Murkowski, Romney, and Collins, who often side with Democrats, but they would not be enough to raise the national debt.

Read up on deficit spending at this Treasury Department guide.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. I’m proud to say Senator Sullivan represents Alaskans and hopefully senator murkowski will follow suit but not sure she’s up to it

  2. Good Job Dan!!!

    As for “Daddy’s Little Princess” … AWOL(!!!), as usual. Hate for her to stand for GOP principles and live up to the expectations of the AK Republican Party But, she does excel at disappointment so, I wouldn’t be surprised if she can’t stand with Dan, as she continues to be more aligned with Mary-P and Team Donkey.

    JEEZ … That’s gotta be frustrating for Dan.

  3. I bet the repubs fold. We really need for the government to be broke so we can get our power back.

  4. A sternly worded letter, that’s the ticket. His voting record speaks rather ill of of him. As doe’s his silence on the blm/ antifa insurrection, the two tiered justice system and the blatant theft of the 2020 election. Every time I see or hear his name, I smell a rat, a rotten, stinking rat.

  5. Suzanne, did you count Feinstein? She is incapacitated and has not been participating. I think Manchin will not support any more Biden fiscap policy and Sinema likewise has escaped the asylum. The Democrats don’t really have a 51-49 split… for,anything.

    • Yes, you’re right about this, and yet on this one they need a higher threshold. They need nine Republicans, but maybe, as you point out, they need 11.

  6. Unlike Sullivan and his hypocritical counterparts, most reasonable people can see and want a compromise deal to be made. After all, Sullivan and most of his counterparts did vote year after year for huge deficit spending bills when dt was at the helm. It’s totally reasonable to get spending cuts or spending limits put on future budgets, but only when they are coupled with neocons accepting tax increases on those whose incomes exceed $400,000 and on faceless corporations, like RPM International. No, there is no call to raise marginal tax rates back to 70% to 90% on the rich, like there was under Eisenhower, but it would be a fair trade for Republicans to accept the fact that the uber rich are the ones who have benefited the most from trillions of dollars of deficit spending over the last 40 years.

  7. Just say “No” to any more taxpayer money to the corrupt Zelensky cartel in Ukraine, Senator!

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