JUNEAU-- At least four Republican governors, including Alaska's Sean Parnell, have signed a pledge urging Congress to oppose any increase in the U.S. debt limit unless certain conditions are met.
Joining Parnell in the "Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge" are Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Rick Perry of Texas and Gary Herbert of Utah.
The pledge is being promoted by what spokesman Joe Brettell called "center-right groups who wanted to see real fiscal accountability restored to Washington." Those who sign it oppose increasing the debt limit unless substantial spending cuts are made to reduce the national deficit, he said. They also want spending caps put in place to pave the way to a balanced budget, and they want Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution that includes such things as a spending limit and a super-majority requirement for raising taxes.
As of Thursday, eight of the candidates competing for the Republican presidential nomination had signed the pledge, as had 12 U.S. senators and 29 U.S. representatives. That tally includes Reps. Thad McCotter of Michigan and Ron Paul of Texas, who are among the eight presidential hopefuls who have signed on.
No member of Alaska's congressional delegation has signed the pledge. On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, said he supported efforts to reduce spending but a failure to increase the debt ceiling would be catastrophic. In a speech on the Senate floor, he urged immediate action.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who was returning to the state for the weekend, echoed the call to action, saying in comments released by her office that those on "the left, right and center agree on the fundamental remedy -- a combination of real spending cuts and comprehensive entitlement and tax reform." She said she is calling on her colleagues -- and committing to Alaskans to stand ready -- "to set a clear, smart, realistic path for America's future."