By a 234-190 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a debt ceiling increase tied to spending cuts, a cap in government growth and a balanced budget amendment.
The House plan – advanced by U.S. Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) and Reid Ribble (R-Wisconsin) – would raise the nation’s debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion (to $16.7 trillion) assuming those conditions were met.
“Chalk one up for the good guys,” Mulvaney told FITS shortly after the vote.
Oddly, U.S. Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) voted against the proposal – arguing it did not go far enough in terms of immediate cuts.
“I have never voted to raise the federal debt limit, and I have no doubt that we face financial collapse and ruin if we continue to grow our debt,” Paul said in a statement. “We need to make major spending cuts now, in this budget, and we can no longer afford to allow more deficit spending based on promises of future cuts.”
Bachmann – who signed a pledge supporting the legislation in South Carolina earlier this week – also voted against it.
“While I embrace the principles of Cut, Cap and Balance, the motion does not go far enough in fundamentally restructuring the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars,” Bachmann said. “Along with cutting spending, putting in place enforceable spending caps that put us on a path to balance and passing a balanced budget amendment, we must also repeal and defund ObamaCare.”
Both lawmakers are seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.
Current U.S. President Barack Obama – who voted against a debt ceiling increase while serving in the U.S. Senate – derided the House vote as a “symbolic gesture” and reiterated his promise to veto the legislation.
This is the same guy who four years ago said that raising the debt ceiling amounted to “shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.”
Also, Obama has yet to outline any cuts that it would make in exchange for the largest debt hike in American history.
“House Republicans are the only ones to put forward and pass a real plan that will create a better environment for private-sector job growth by stopping Washington from spending money it doesn’t have and preventing tax hikes on families and small businesses,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. “The White House hasn’t said what it will cut.”
While we agree that the $111 billion in immediate cuts included in the “Cut Cap and Balance” plan are woefully inadequate, what’s wrong with imposing a pair of key restrictions on the growth of government moving forward? Also, in addition to being preferable to Obama’s “non-plan” the bill the House passed is infinitely preferable to the so-called “Gang of Six” proposal being floating in the U.S. Senate.
Under the Senate plan, there would be no immediate cuts, no caps and no balanced budget amendment. Worst of all, of the estimated $4 trillion in “deficit reduction” proposed by the “Gang of Six” – $1 trillion would come in the form of “revenue enhancements” (i.e. tax cuts).
“Cut, Cap and Balance” is by no means a perfect plan – but it is the only debt ceiling deal that comes anywhere near to protecting the best interests of the American taxpayer.
And that, of course, is precisely why it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming law …