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RSC to Obama: No Debt Hike Without Spending Cuts

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Rep. Scott Garrett authored a letter being circulated among members of the Republican Study Committee.

An influential group of House conservatives is throwing its weight behind Speaker John Boehner’s demand that any new increase in the nation’s debt ceiling be tied to a new round of spending cuts.

In a draft letter being circulated among members of the Republican Study Committee, the conservative organization calls on President Barack Obama to abide by the Ohio Republican’s demands.

The lawmakers write in the letter that they want to “underscore our strong support for Speaker Boehner’s recent comments on raising the nation’s debt ceiling ... tying a debt limit increase with common-sense reforms is a necessary first step to solving the nation’s fiscal imbalance.”

The letter, authored by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), also warns that with China holding nearly 23 percent of the nation’s debt, it is time to curb U.S. reliance on “communist creditors.”

The RSC boasts 164 members, but it is not yet clear how many will sign the letter.

The RSC’s support for Boehner is particularly notable given their rocky relationship over the last 18 months. The group has repeatedly broken with Boehner over the budget, spending levels and last year’s debt ceiling deal, causing increasingly bad blood between the group and leadership.

Boehner has also faced some skepticism from within the GOP over his comments, and Democrats have accused him of attempting to force another ugly partisan fight like the one that marked last year’s debt ceiling negotiations.

The letter is expected to be sent to Obama early next month.

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