DCCC uses Reagan to press GOP on debt limit

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is going on offense to remind Republican lawmakers that former President Reagan supported raising the debt ceiling.

The DCCC is sending out press releases in 50 Republican districts Thursday asking if they agree with Reagan on the debt ceiling.

"Does Representative Steve King [(R-Iowa)] Agree With Ronald Reagan?," one of the press releases reads.

"House Republicans like Steve King hold up Reagan as an example of fiscal responsibility so the question is whether he agrees and will step up to help the U.S. avoid economic catastrophe?," the release continues.

For roughly two weeks now, Democrats have been highlighting Reagan, a Republican icon for his fiscal conservatism, in arguing for a debt-ceiling increase.

"Ronald Reagan worked with [former Democratic Speaker] Tip O’Neill and Democrats to cut spending, raise revenues and reform Social Security," President Obama said Saturday in his weekly address. "That kind of cooperation should be the least you expect from us," he added.

In particular, Democrats are noting that Reagan voted to raise the debt ceiling 17 times during his presidency. They also highlight a letter Reagan wrote in 1983 to Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.), then the Senate majority leader, in which he urged for Baker's support in raising the debt ceiling.

"This letter is to ask for your help and support, and that of your colleagues, in the passage of an increase in the limit on the public debt," Reagan's letter to Baker began.

Earlier this week the Democratic Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a letter to all House Republicans noting that Reagan warned about the hazards of not raising the debt ceiling.

Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets and the federal deficit would soar, Reagan cautioned. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility — two things that set us apart from much of the world.

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