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October 31. 2013 2:42PM

Kuster co-leader of Democratic coalition seeking ‘no shutdown’ promise from GOP House speaker

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster is a co-leader of a coalition of 178 Democratic lawmakers calling on Republican House Speaker John Boehner and his leadership to “publicly declare” they will not sue the threat of another government shutdown or default as leverage in the budget talks, her office said Thursday.

Those talks, prompted by the agreement that ended the recent government shutdown, began on Wednesday.

Kuster has joined with Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., in organizing the coalition. There are a total of 200 Democratic House members and all but 22 have so far signed on.

The group’s letter to Boehner says in part:

“The most powerful source of uncertainty to American families and businesses is the threat of a government shutdown and default on our debts. That is why we are writing to you to urge you and your leadership to publicly declare that you will not again use the threat of a government shutdown or default as leverage in the important discussions regarding long-term deficit reduction and economic growth.

“Congress has voted itself 90 days to reach a long-term budget agreement,” the letter says. “We respectfully request that Congress work hard to reach an agreement sooner than that and that you and your colleagues in leadership remove the threat of another shutdown or default on America’s debt as a weapon in these talks.”



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