Diana DeGette, Colorado Democratic congresswoman and deputy Democrtic Whip responded for her First Congressional District constituents with a letter to President Obama, Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader and John Boehner, Speaker of the House admonishing them to put aside political posturing and get down to the nation's business. In what has become a political circus where Republicans are attempting to leverage the crisis of the moment to push through a deficit reduction plan rife with uncompromised conservative dogma and Democrats claim the moral high ground of reasonable debt reduction, DeGette's letter urges both sides to end the political gridlock that has paralyzed negotiations. The debt ceiling deal must be reached by next Tuesday, August 2nd in order to avert a technical default by the federal government in meeting interest payments on bonds it issues and other financial obligations such as social security checks to retirees.
The Republican leadership under Congressman Boehner has had to hew a tricky path between a practical conservative plan to raise the ceiling while finding ways to reduce the nation's alarmingly growing budget deficit while its even more conservative Tea Party wing calls for drastic cuts to federal government programs and targeting Medicare and Social Security specifically, and in some instances even for Boehner's resignation. In light of this pressure, Boehner and the Republicans have refused to negotiate to include raising revenues by doing away with some corporate welfare, loopholes and taxes benefiting wealthier Americans.
Democrats have called for a shared sacrifice by all and have accepted cuts to social programs as long as revenue increases are included in any long term budget deficit solution. But, the problem they all face at the moment is to agree to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion by next Tuesday in order to avoid defaulting on the federal government's existing financial obligations.
While Congresswoman DeGette's letter to the leaders of the negotiations raised no new points, her call reflected Americans' increasing frustration with Washington partisan politics that have made the word "compromise" as dirty a word to conservatives as they made the word "liberal" to a generation twenty years earlier.