The President spoke Monday night about the need for Congress to come together to meet our financial obligations by raising the so-called "debt ceiling" -- that is, to make sure our country can pay the bills Congress has already racked up.
You'd think this would be fairly straightforward. For many years, regardless of party affiliation, presidents have asked Congress to do this when it's been necessary -- and every time, Congress has acted. Just as an example, Congress granted Ronald Reagan's request to raise the debt ceiling 18 different times.
Here's what's happening: President Obama proposed the balanced approach of raising the debt ceiling paired with responsible steps to reduce our country's long-term debt -- asking oil companies, corporations, and the richest Americans to do their part rather than placing the entire burden on seniors and the middle class.
A deal has been close at times, but an ideological faction of House Republicans has been effectively holding our economy hostage -- making extreme demands like ending Medicare as we know it, gutting Social Security, and rejecting any compromises that might make millionaires or big corporations pay their fair share to get our debt under control.
So when President Obama spoke to the nation the other night, he made a suggestion to everyone watching: Call Congress and ask them to do their job. Since then, there have been reports that the flood of calls and emails has been slowing down the phone systems and websites on Capitol Hill.
Our records show you have only Democratic representatives in Congress. But House Speaker John Boehner -- who is leading the Republicans in negotiations -- needs to hear what Americans like you think.
Call Speaker Boehner's office now at (202) 225-0600 -- and tell him we can't afford to let politics hold our economy hostage. It's time to put ideological demands aside and agree to a balanced approach.http://my.barackobama.com/page/m/55c11a4a/506d426f/11d5f90ca/1189c1af/2982803160/VEsH/
Here's what the President said on Monday:
"The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for a dysfunctional government. So I'm asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message."
The President doesn't make a direct request of all of us like this very often. Take a minute right now to call Speaker Boehner...