Press Release

New Poll: Time To Negotiate On Debt Ceiling

Today, Ending Spending and American Action Forum released a new poll that found a strong majority of voters want President Obama to negotiate with Members of Congress over the debt limit.

“The American people are understandably frustrated with Washington, but more so they are disappointed in President Obama’s inability to govern or even debate key issues of legislation,” said Brian Baker, President of Ending Spending.  

In a survey conducted by TargetPoint Consulting, a majority of Americans (52%) called on the President to negotiate with Congress and are intensely opposed to the President raising the debt ceiling “cleanly” without spending reforms. A hefty majority – 65% – nearly two thirds of registered voters – oppose increasing the debt ceiling in this manner.

“Speaker John Boehner and the House Republicans have the opportunity, in the wake of the Obamacare debate, to demand some serious cuts in the budget before any discussions of a debt limit increase,” said Baker.  “The President may get his way on Obamacare, with the help allies in media and in Congress, but the American people are looking for meaningful tradeoffs in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and want President Obama to negotiate with Congress in order to find a path forward on the national debt.”

Some of the tradeoffs a majority of Americans would approve in exchange for raising the debt ceiling include: (1) delaying the implementation of Obamacare by at least one year (54%); (2) easing America’s dependence upon Mideast oil by enacting a pro-growth energy policy (including building the Keystone Oil Pipeline) (73%); (3) eliminating certain tax breaks for people and businesses as part of tax code reform (57%), and (4) reforming certain entitlement and other support programs.

“Spending reforms and policy tradeoffs are essential in a debt limit bill otherwise we simply kick the can down the road by buying time before the debt limit is approached again,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum. “While the president has been missing in action from the policy debates on funding the government and raising the debt limit, the important question is whether the president will step up to the plate and negotiate in a meaningful way to provide a long-term solution.”

The national survey was conducted with 800 registered voters September 13-18, 2013 on attitudes towards the upcoming legislative debates over the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.5%. The survey was conducted on behalf of Ending Spending ( and American Action Forum (

Read the key findings memo here

Press inquiries for Ending Spending should be directed to Emily Cashel, [email protected],  (703) 739-5920.