According to The Hill, Speaker John Boehner and Company are planning to design a deal to raise the debt ceiling without any spending cuts:
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told rank-and-file members in a closed-door meeting Friday that there would not be “dollar-for-dollar” cuts in the debt package, insisting that the legislation would still meet his requirement of “cuts and reforms” equal or greater to the amount of increased borrowing authority.
“Boehner eschewed that specifically. He said he never said dollar for dollar,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said after the meeting.
Party leaders are hoping to have a vote by next week on a debt-ceiling bill, but Boehner told reporters that they had not yet settled on a time. The measure would likely suspend the debt ceiling through the 2014 midterm elections, lawmakers said.
This is pathetic. So what is the Republican plan?
The distinction is significant because the laundry list of proposals that Republicans are likely to attach to the debt limit — a delay of ObamaCare, instructions for revenue-neutral tax reform and construction of the Keystone pipeline — would not immediately cut federal spending.
This plan is even more pathetic. Here’s why:
1) While delaying Obamacare is nice, I thought we just DEFUNDED Obamacare in the CR. If this debt ceiling plan passes, it would just be a repetition of the CR (which Republicans are supposed to hold firm on). Therefore, conservatives have gained essentially NOTHING.
2) The Keystone Pipeline: LLPH clearly supports building the pipeline, but what is wrong with getting dollar-to-dollar cuts TODAY! The pipeline will take many years to build, it might generate some revenue but hardly enough to be equivalent to the amount the House GOP would be raising the debt ceiling by.
LLPH-Endorsed and Ally in the House Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI 3) argued with Speaker Boehner about this in conference:
In the meeting, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) confronted the Speaker over the issue of “dollar-for-dollar” spending cuts, citing a newspaper article from a press conference earlier this year in which Boehner used those words, according to a person in the room.
The exchange was described as an attempt at a “gotcha moment” by Amash, a frequent critic of the leadership.
Boehner pushed back, saying that the standard for debt limit increases that he first set in 2011 had “always been cuts and reforms.”
Thank you Rep. Amash for speaking the truth. LLPH will be making the following clear for the upcoming debt ceiling fight and what we expect:
1) The Heritage Foundation released an excellent article about what a conservative debt ceiling deal should include: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/09/debt-limit-options-and-the-way-forward
2) After reading the article, you can probably see that we would demand three conditions to be met: 1) No suspension of the debt ceiling. 2) Dollar-to-Dollar Real Spending Cuts that leads to a path to balance in at least 10 years. 3) Real Entitlement Reform.
LLPH wants to be very clear: If the three conditions are not met, we will STRONGLY OPPOSE any debt ceiling increase and will very heavily weigh it in our scorecard! This is not a joking matter…our country’s future is on the line.