Looks like the new batch of Republicans are already signaling that they’ll refuse to raise the debt ceiling… even though John Boehner is telling them they must.
[…] on Thursday, Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) said he’s been talking to the newly elected GOP lawmakers about the need to raise the federal debt ceiling when it comes up early next year.
“I’ve made it pretty clear to them that as we get into next year, it’s pretty clear that Congress is going to have to deal with this,” Mr. Boehner, who is slated to become House speaker in January, told reporters.
“We’re going to have to deal with it as adults,” he said, in what apparently are his most explicit comments to date. “Whether we like it or not, the federal government has obligations and we have obligations on our part.”
Why is this so important?
If an increase in the current debt limit of $14.3 trillion does not pass, it would suggest the country may not meet its obligations and would shake the financial system. It could rock the bond market, rattle the dollar and scare away foreign buyers of U.S. debt.
It’s one thing to win an election with a lot of incendiary rhetoric. It’s another thing to actually get things done. And it appears that the new members of the GOP are determined to make obstructionism their bread and butter.
Here’s a taste of what some said during their campaigns…
The campaign of Rep.-elect Kristi Noem (R., S.D.) attacked Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for voting to raise the debt limit. Rep.-elect Tim Scott (R., S.C.), who like Ms. Noem is joining the House Republican leadership, reiterated Friday that he wouldn’t vote to raise the ceiling.
In February, Republican Reid Ribble blasted Rep. Steve Kagen (D., Wis.), whom he defeated, for voting to increase the debt limit, calling it “unconscionable” and “insane.” He added, “Congressman Kagen is on notice that the people of northeastern Wisconsin are watching and we are outraged.”
Similarly, Rep.-elect Steve Stivers (R., Ohio) blasted Democratic Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy for voting to raise the debt ceiling. “That shows a reckless desire to spend money we don’t have, and borrow money we can’t afford to pay back,” he said.
Rep.-elect Lou Barletta (R., Pa.) cited the raising of the debt limit during the campaign in saying that “Congress and the president are spending our country into servitude.”
So what’s the solution? Well, at least one GOPer is floating the idea of tying a debt ceiling vote to repeal of some of the recent health care legislation. Since we all know that won’t happen…what’s next? Conditional on extension of the Bush tax cuts? Again, seems like a loser when it comes to public perception of not wanting to raise our debt and yet approving unfunded tax cuts for very wealthy people.
What do you think the solution is going to be?