Entire Senate Dem caucus vows to oppose Boehner debt plan

Every single member of the Senate Democratic Caucus signed a letter Wednesday declaring their opposition to legislation sponsored by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to raise the debt limit.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had predicted earlier in the day that Boehner’s plan would not win a single Democratic vote in the upper chamber.

“We heard that in your caucus you said the Senate will support your bill,” the lawmakers wrote. “We are writing to tell you that we will not support it, and [to] give you the reasons why.”

Boehner amended his legislation Wednesday to increase the total amount of spending it would cut and shift more of the savings to fiscal year 2012.

But Democrats still will vote in unison against Boehner’s plan because it raises the debt limit by $900 billion, not enough to extend borrowing authority beyond the 2012 election.

Democrats have adamantly opposed a short-term extension of the debt limit, arguing that it would create economic uncertainty.

“A short-term extension like the one in your bill would put America at risk, along with every family and business in it,” Senate Democrats wrote. “Your approach would force us once again to face the threat of default in five or six short months.

“Every day, another expert warns us that your short-term approach could be nearly as disastrous as a default and would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating,” they argued.

The senators warned that if the nation’s credit rating is downgraded, it would cost the government billions of dollars more in interest payments on existing debt.

All 53 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus signed the letter to Boehner.

Boehner’s revised bill would cut spending by $917 billion over 10 years, including $22 billion in cuts in 2012.

“This bill is far from perfect, but it’s a positive step forward that denies the president the $2.4 trillion blank check that lets him continue his spending binge through the next election,” the Speaker’s office wrote in a press release.