Four GOP governors sent a letter Monday to the congressional joint committee tasked with drafting a plan to reduce the country’s debt, urging the 12-member panel to rule out tax increases and any proposals that would shift Medicaid costs from the federal government to the states.
“We believe less federal spending will benefit the private economy rather than more federal spending, and we believe economic growth and job creation in the private sector is the way to increase federal revenue,” Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels wrote in their letter to the co-chairmen of the debt “supercommittee.”
“Therefore, we combine our view that raising taxes is the enemy of controlling spending with our belief that excessive regulations and tax increases, especially on employers, are the largest barriers to job creation and economic growth,” they added.
Barbour is the chairman of the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee, the policy arm of the Republican Governors Association. Christie is the organization’s vice chairman.
The letter from the four governors comes two weeks after a quartet of Democratic governors — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick – met with Democratic supercommittee members at the Capitol and urged the lawmakers to avoid making cuts to entitlement programs.
The RGA noted two areas of agreement between the Republican and Democratic governors: Both are opposed to shifting cost burdens to the states, and both are in favor of ensuring that any cost savings resulting from reform of how people eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare are treated are shared by the states and the federal government.
Barbour and American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin are expected to hold an event Tuesday morning at the National Press Club in downtown Washington at which they will discuss the supercommittee letter and other policy issues. A live stream of the event can be found here.