Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) meets with President Obama at the White House today to discuss the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations. The talks have taken on a new urgency since the lead GOP negotiators — Jon Kyl and Eric Cantor — pulled out of the discussions led by Vice President Biden, with the onus now on Obama to forge a deal with party leaders. McConnell stakes out his position in a CNN op-ed:
What Republicans want is simple: We want to cut spending now, we want to cap runaway spending in the future and we want to save our entitlements and our country from bankruptcy by requiring the nation to balance its budget. We want to finally get our economy growing again at a pace that will lead to significant job growth.
The Democrats’ response has been a mystifying call for more stimulus spending and huge tax hikes on American job creators. That’s not serious, and it is my hope that the president will take those off the table today so that we can have a serious discussion about our country’s economic future…
[T]hey seem to recognize that the voters are asking for a different approach. Americans didn’t elect dozens of additional Republicans to the House of Representatives last November because they wanted their taxes raised. They sent them here to reverse the runaway spending policies that failed.
Since the day the stimulus was signed, Washington has added $3.5 trillion to the national debt and roughly 2 million Americans have lost their jobs. More recently, a slew of troubling economic indicators and dire warnings from credit agencies about the dangers of our debt show that the time for serious action is now.
We have seen the consequences of giving Washington a blank check — and we think it’s time Washington make some of the hard choices that the average American has made over the past two and a half years.
Read the whole thing here.