Today in the House: Cut, Cap and Balance
Today, the House will debate and vote on H.R.2560, the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which would cut federal spending immediately, place a statutory cap on federal spending and require the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution before increasing the nation’s debt ceiling. Once again, the House is going to lead. They did it with the Ryan budget, and now they’re doing it on the debt ceiling. Unfortunately, many Establishment-types in Washington see this as nothing more than a symbolic vote.
From Roll Call:
Conservatives had complained for weeks that they believed Cantor and other leaders were not taking their cause seriously.
A second conservative agreed, saying activists “feel this is a ‘check the box’ vote,” which is the same language that Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) used Sunday to describe the Senate’s upcoming amendment vote.
From The Hill:
But GOP aides say the leaders are already looking past those votes to a potential deal with Democrats to raise the debt limit before an Aug. 2 deadline and spare Republican lawmakers from a political backlash.
“McConnell is going to let cut, cap and balance have its vote and then immediately move to plan B,” said a GOP aide in reference to the fallback debt plan McConnell is negotiating with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
As Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said on MSNBC this morning, Cut, Cap and Balance would actually solve the problem. Heritage Action, which seeks to drive down federal spending and borrowing while protecting America and not raising taxes, supports Cut, Cap and Balance. It is the only proposal being discussed around the debt limit that moves in this direction.
In the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen hits the nail on the head in describing the Establishment’s fallback plan:
This is an insult to conservative voters, who are expected to buy Republican claims that they opposed raising the debt limit when they were in fact co-conspirators in raising it with little or nothing in exchange. Even the “hybrid” plan McConnell and Reid are reportedly discussing would cut spending by about $1 trillion less than it raises the debt limit — an abandonment of the GOP goal to ensure that spending cuts are equal to or greater than any increase in debt authority the president is given.
The McConnell plan is exactly the kind of inside-Washington maneuver that gave rise to the Tea Party movement — and inspired conservative insurgents to challenge establishment Republicans in the last election.