U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s Congressional Progressive Caucus has claimed an unusual ally in the current debate over raising the debt limit — Republican President Ronald Reagan.
“President Reagan was a staunch conservative whose views sharply differ from Progressives’ in nearly every respect,” the Progressive Caucus, which Ellison co-chairs, wrote in a letter to members of Congress. “Yet Reagan understood that the American people have invested their trust in our ability to be wise stewards.”
Attached is a letter Reagan wrote to Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, a Republican, in 1983: “The risks, the costs, the disruptions and the incalculable damage leads me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation [a debt limit increase] before Congress adjourns.”
Democrats have recently invoked Reagan’s words to try and convince conservatives to support a debt limit increase. Last weekend, they released a recording of a 1987 radio address in which Reagan also appeals for a debt limit increase.
“Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility,” he said. “The United States has a special responsibility to meet its obligations.”