Rep. Peter Welch is looking to Wall Street to help make his case for a “clean” debt limit vote.
The Vermont Democrat said Tuesday that he has placed calls with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and JPMorgan Chase in an effort to build support among downtown groups to separate the issue of raising the debt ceiling from larger budget concerns.
“We’ve got a majority of the Caucus who agrees that we have to act to preserve America’s full faith and credit and reputation for paying its bills,” Welch told Roll Call. “Now I’m starting to make calls to the business and financial community urging them to speak out on the need to consider the debt ceiling and any long-term agreement on the budget as separate.”
Welch has already spent several weeks focusing his efforts on his Democratic colleagues. He and Democratic Reps. Rush Holt (N.J.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Lloyd Doggett (Texas) and David Price (N.C.) corralled 109 other Democratic lawmakers to sign a letter last week to their leaders arguing for a vote on the debt limit alone.
Despite the strong sentiment among their Democratic colleagues, House Republicans are in lock step in demanding that significant cuts be a part of the debt ceiling vote.
“With the debt limit window fast approaching, House Republicans have made clear that if the President and our Democratic colleagues refuse to accept serious reforms that immediately reduce federal spending and end the culture of debt in Washington, we will not grant their request for a debt limit increase,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement last week.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.