Nearly a quarter of the House’s Democrats wrote their leadership on Wednesday, urging them to pay more attention to reducing deficit spending. 

Fifty-eight Democrats wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to pressure them to restrain federal spending. 

“Failure to put in place and properly enforce budget enforcement mechanisms that cut and restrain the growth in federal spending will only make the tough, necessary decisions harder to achieve in the future,” the letter said.

Pointing to the effects of the financial crisis in Europe spurred by high levels of debt, the group said they would demand that spending be offset by cuts elsewhere under pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules adopted earlier this year. This would have the effect, if the group of 58 held together, of blocking extensions of unemployment insurance and other spending programs that aren’t paid for. Democrats control 253 House seats, but would only have 195 votes for such spending without the support of these other Democrats. 

“It is critical that we uphold our efforts to restore fiscal discipline to the federal government by not using this tool for anything other than it is intended — a true, unforeseen emergency,” they said.

“Extending critical, economic investments is no more important than paying for them,” they added. “America is facing a debt crisis that is threatening to undermine our economic and national security. We can no longer afford to exacerbate the problem because the decisions about how to pay for what we spend are getting harder.”

Find the full letter after the jump:

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer:

We can no longer put off addressing the nation’s fiscal crisis, which was created by years of mismanagement and has been exacerbated by the recent economic crisis. Failure to put in place and properly enforce budget enforcement mechanisms that cut and restrain the growth in federal spending will only make the tough, necessary decisions harder to achieve in the future.

Markets around the world, including ours, were shaken by the debt crisis in Europe. Many economists point to the U.S.’s high levels of debt and wonder if our country is heading towards a similar fate. While our economy is still recovering and more needs to be done to create jobs, it is critical that we balance these investments with offsets over the long run.

We recognize and understand the need for the emergency designation as narrowly defined in the statutory PAYGO law recently passed by the House and signed into law by President Obama. However, we have made a commitment to pay for our priorities. It is critical that we uphold our efforts to restore fiscal discipline to the federal government by not using this tool for anything other than it is intended – a true, unforeseen emergency.

Extending critical, economic investments is no more important than paying for them. America is facing a debt crisis that is threatening to undermine our economic and national security. We can no longer afford to exacerbate the problem because the decisions about how to pay for what we spend are getting harder.

We stand ready to work together with you to ensure that deficit reduction continues to be a top priority of Congress and the administration, and to take meaningful steps to reduce spending and pay for our priorities now and in the future.