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Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Debt Crisis

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio today joined a group of 23 Republican senators in calling on President Obama to become engaged in the debate over the country's debt crisis and finally demonstrate leadership on reforming and saving entitlement programs. During his campaign for the White House, President Obama said he would lead on the tough issues but so far has been absent from the debate. The letter was spearheaded by Senator Dan Coats (R-IN).

In the letter, the senators wrote, "While Congress is currently engaged in an important discussion on annual discretionary spending levels, the more significant long-term problem facing our country is the continued growth of mandatory spending programs. Federal expenditures on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are expected to double over the coming decade and represent an unsustainable portion of total government spending. In order to ensure the long-term viability of these programs, it is imperative that you lead a bipartisan effort to address these challenges."

Furthermore, Senator Rubio and his colleagues wrote that, "Without action to begin addressing the deficit, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for us to support a further increase in the debt ceiling."

The full text of the signed letter is below:

March 16, 2011

The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Mr. President,

The fiscal challenges facing our country today call for courageous leadership. Government spending is growing at an alarming rate, and the federal budget deficit has reached record levels. Congress will soon face a vote to increase the debt ceiling yet again, the fourth time in your Presidency and the 11th time in the last decade. Future generations will drown in a debt forced onto them by the inactions of Congresses and Administrations far before their time. The time to remedy these failures is now.

While Congress is currently engaged in an important discussion on annual discretionary spending levels, the more significant long-term problem facing our country is the continued growth of mandatory spending programs. Federal expenditures on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are expected to double over the coming decade and represent an unsustainable portion of total government spending.

In order to ensure the long-term viability of these programs, it is imperative that you lead a bipartisan effort to address these challenges. In 1983, President Reagan and Speaker Tip O'Neill recognized the pressing need for reform, showed political courage and worked together to craft a plan that has safeguarded Social Security for the past thirty years. A similar show of leadership from you and from congressional leaders of both parties is necessary to address the long-term fiscal challenges facing our country.

Last year's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform marked an important first step in identifying a potential path forward. Strong leadership is needed now to advance possible solutions to ensure that our entitlement programs can serve both current and future generations. Without action to begin addressing the deficit, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for us to support a further increase in the debt ceiling. House Speaker John Boehner this month offered to partner with you in a nonpartisan effort. We join in the Speaker's offer, and urge you to lead this Congress and the nation in the critical effort to strengthen our country's long-term fiscal security.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dan Coats (R-IN), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Richard Burr (R-NC), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Dr. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Ensign (R-NV), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Rand Paul (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), James Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Roger Wicker (R-MS)


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