Conservatives are taking a stand in the House, and they’re making their liberal counterparts angry in the process.
The Cut, Cap, and Balance plan passed with flying colors in the House (234–190) on Tuesday, and it is now up to the Democratic-controlled Senate to shoulder its responsibility. In fact, conservative House Members are holding out hope that the only actual bill on the debt ceiling yet to pass Congress will make it through the Senate.
House Republican Conference chairman Jeb Hensarling (R–TX) is one of those making a stand and was confident in an interview with Heritage yesterday when he said that the only thing others have offered is “either an outline, a press release, or a speech.”
By contrast, Cut, Cap, and Balance has been written, read, voted on and passed. If passed through both chambers, it would increase the debt ceiling and begin solving America’s debt crisis without raising taxes.
But President Obama threatened to veto the bill before it was even voted on earlier this week, and White House press secretary Jay Carney lamented that the bill was nothing more than a “duck, dodge, and dismantle” approach to the debt.
“Unfortunately, the President’s idea of a balanced plan—after his failed stimulus program and $2.6 trillion takeover of the health care system—is to say ‘I want to raise your taxes to pay for my spending,’” said Hensarling. “Our idea of balance is: Mr. President, we will help you raise this debt ceiling and pay these bills only if you cut up the credit cards.”
House conservatives, who are toeing the line of discipline on spending and taxes, have been hit with a harsh reality. The Senate’s “Gang of Six” has a plan with few details and many empty promises that offer no assurance of a truly reformed economic policy.
“It’s hard to tell what you are doing … with three different budget baselines that they use … and I don’t see where entitlement reforms are specified,” said Hensarling of the Gang of Six plan. “Most of what I’ve seen is a two-page outline that is a little bit confusing to me.”
“We have a debt crisis not because the debt ceiling is too low but because debt is too high,” said Hensarling. “If I can get on the road to fiscal sanity by not increasing the debt ceiling, I will, and if I think I can take steps down the road to fiscal sanity by increasing debt ceiling, I’ll do it.”
It’s high time that everyone in Congress heard the American people say “stop spending” and recognize the dire threat this $14.3 trillion debt is to America’s future as a nation.