Conservative group slams McConnell for 'dereliction of duty'
July 15th, 2011
12:24 PM ET
7 years ago

Conservative group slams McConnell for 'dereliction of duty'

(CNN) - A leading fiscal conservative group, Club for Growth, announced strong opposition Friday to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's debt ceiling contingency plan calling it a "backroom deal."

"The American people didn't send more Republicans to Washington so they could give President Obama more power," said the group's president, Chris Chocola, in a statement Friday. "This backroom deal is just another sellout of the free-market principles that make America strong."

McConnell's plan would give the president the authority to raise the debt ceiling three times through 2012. While it would prevent the government from defaulting on its loans by the Aug. 2 deadline, it would also allow Congress, with a two-thirds majority vote, to stop President Barack Obama from making the short term increases in the debt limit throughout the year. The president could then veto the vote, but it's unlikely that Congress could gather enough votes to override his veto.

House Speaker John Boehner began showing openness to the Kentucky senator's plan late Thursday.

"I think it's worth keeping on the table. There are a lot of options that people have floated, and, frankly, I think it's an option that may be worthy at some point," Boehner said in a Capitol Hill press conference.

But Club for Growth claims the Treasury Department has enough cash on hand to fulfill the debt, labeling the Aug. 2 deadline as "meaningless."

"This proposal is a dereliction of duty by Senator McConnell and everything that's wrong with Washington," the statement said. "It's nothing more than a legislative maneuver by so-called Republicans to avoid responsibility for America's spending problem."

The group earlier in the week released a television ad calling on Republicans to "show some spine" in the debt talks and resist a debt ceiling increase without spending cuts, spending caps and a balanced budget amendment. The group's demands echo a popular pledge–the "Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge"–being pushed by fiscal conservatives, including several of the 2012 presidential candidates.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: Club for Growth • Congress • Debt • Deficit • Mitch McConnell • President Obama
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Republicans-Intellectually & Morally Bankrupt

    "Club for Growth". It conjures up an image of a bunch of schoolyard bullies trying to kick other kids out of the sandbox.

    July 15, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "If the Democrats want to borrow trillions endlessly let's orce every DEMOCRAT in the country to co-sign for all this debt. Put all YOUR valuables on the line, NOT my kids and grandkids paychecks."

    Sorry, the GOP controls the House. They have the "shellacking majority." This is their baby...THEY ASKED FOR IT AND GOT IT. Now, after shaking it mercilesslyy Woodward style, they want to drop it on its head. Sissies. They have the majority and control of the House agenda...they can go to their caucus, figure out what can pass with their majority and pass. AGAIN, WE DARE THEM. Show us all what you really think is important to cut from the budget and how you'd do it if you had your druthers. Go ahead. We're waiting.

    July 15, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Stephen in VA

    McConnell is the ONLY Republican representing the will of the people. Conservatives need to stop embracing the Tea Party anti-government fools and get back to helping to run the nation.

    July 15, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "Who elected Grover Norquist to anything? Why does he wield so much power over this country?"

    Large part of the country has a maladaptive fascination with douchebags.

    July 15, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Viltor

    The republicans are out to destry Obama's presidency even if it drags the country down. They are doing this mostly through lies, like the one that it is Obama's policies that caused the massive debt. 90% of the nation's debt occurred under Reagan and the Bush's. And what's this free market bull? The so called free market created this massive recession and held us all hostage until we bailed them out because they would have taken us down in flames. Yet republicans and their nutball legions want them protected. They are right to be scared, but it of the banks and oil speculators they should be worried about.

    July 15, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    But Club for Growth claims the Treasury Department has enough cash on hand to fulfill the debt, labeling the Aug. 2 deadline as "meaningless."


    Tom Donahoe, head of the US Chamber of Commerce, has written op-ed pieces begging for a solution that would not cause a default. A year ago, he was with Club for Growth in helping the TP candidates sweep into office: now he's opposing the stand by the Club for Growth, recognising what sheer lunacy a default is. It appears as though the Cons are splitting apart on this. Can the Club for Growth actually reassure us as to how much money is there? I doubt it.

    Time to get the brooms out: the GOP will be swept out over this. The sane ones are fighting back.

    July 15, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. DIANA

    Who is this Grover person and why does he hold so much power over the Republicans? Don't these idiots realize this isn't a game. I noticed that whenever a Republican acts like a grown up, the rest start attacking that one. They want everyone to behave like the children that they are.

    July 15, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. kyle

    When you have an unfunded war, unfunded tax cutsfor Corperations to send jobs overseas, and for the rich, that create huge debt. The conservative groups that praise Bush for those decisions are now screaming stop spending.

    July 15, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Haven't you ever wondered how people can afford to create and sustain organizations like Club for Growth? Sure, there are many non-profit groups out there that provide services of various types without charge to various demographics. The funding for such groups is almost exclusively private.

    So who would support a group aimed at fiscal policies? How much money would these supporters donate?

    Wouldn't these supporters only make donations if they were the beneficiaries of the activities of the group?

    If an individual can donate tens of thousands of dollars, what policies make it worth it for them to make such large contributions?

    Why is it they are climbing all over Republican backs like that? Why don't they try to get Democrats to implement policies that they favor?

    July 15, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. Busted2010

    @Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting – Destroying the economy, destroying the country – so explain your post please. Obama has proposed 4 trillion in cuts and the Reps only 2.4 trillion. Ouch, bit of a stinger here.

    July 15, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    Since 240 of the House GOP have signed this pledge and the increase in debt ceiling is to 2.4 trillion and the cuts on the table is 1 trillion how do the House "leaders" proposed to get this passed through the House? By my math 435 – 240 = 195 and a majority is 218.

    This is just one reason the GOP should never sigh pledges that are only to please the base, as someone is going to have to renege or we default.

    Next time, maybe it would be best to just pledge to do the job you are paid for by the American citizens.

    July 15, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Busted2010

    I'm just glad this club for growth special interest group is proving to the American people that republicans are only interested in the economy and not a negative stigma like oppose Obama at all costs.

    July 15, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. acura2010

    All must acknowledge Mitch McConnell done more harm to America economic woes. He raised the debt ceiling seven times under G.W. Bush. He's buddies with the big oil companies and wall street and big banks. McConnell is a millionaire like many others politicians in congress. He contributed to this mess. He has extreme poverty in his own state, Kentucky!

    July 15, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. a in austin

    What happened to representing the people in your district? With the Teaparty Terrorists no one is safe.

    July 15, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. SayWhat

    To Hair Club for Growth members;

    Here's a new pledge you should sign on for; "Cut, Cap, Balance and Cram It".
    Mr. Countchocula, its the US Congress, its all about compormise. Only in the world of narow minded ideolgues would a compromise be seen as a "back room deal" and "dereliction of duty".

    July 15, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    To Jeff Brown – so you consider "my Senate agenda is to ensure Barak Obama is a one-term President" to not be acting like a spoiled brat?

    I give McConnell some credit because he realized that corner that the Republicans have painted themselves into has caused nothing but grief to him and his party, and he realized someone was going to have to track through the wet paint first. Unfortunately, Norquist and the "Club for Growth" goon squad need to collectively have a rectocraniotomy performed so they can see what reality looks like. Their short-sighted agenda has resulted in taking what had been good fiscal conservatives and making them into a group of overgrown crybabies.

    If you are running a household budget and realize you are not taking in enough income to pay your bills, you not only have to cut down on expenses in any way possible, you also have to see how to bring more money in. In the case of a household, to bring more money in, you get a second job. In the case of the government, you have to decrease expenditures in some way and increase tax income. This is the same logic that anyone who takes a high-school personal finance class should be able to figure out, let alone Gut Economics 101, using the same Samuelson textbook that everyone else has used for the past 50 or so years.

    July 15, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. TEW

    It's about time that the "Turttle Man" began feeling some heat. This Jack-A$$ and his blatent racial intolerance of the Prez is begining to crack. I hope the American people step up to the plate in 2011 and boot out all the Tea-Party backed senators/congressmen and this fool. Only then will American begin to move in the right direction

    July 15, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. jarhead

    Two conservative PAC's using the phrase" The American People" voted for republicans to do their bidding in congress. What's up with that?

    July 15, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Dan from Tx

    "Who elected Grover Norquist to anything? Why does he wield so much power over this country?"

    Money elected him.

    July 15, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  20. A real American

    The phrase, "hoist on one's own petard" comes to mind.

    July 15, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. jc

    This is EXACTLY why Obama should take the deal.

    July 15, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. gt

    its about big business, big banks , big lawyers, big unions and and the largest union of all "aarp" ....all they want is to protect there own... the hell with everyone who dont agree with them..." let them eat cake" the average american pays through the nose so these groups can get bigger and stronger...

    July 15, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. American

    McConnell is failing to take responsibility to negotiate in good faith for the American people, expecting others to assume his shortcomings. A sad reflection on McConnell's poor leadership and dereliction of duty indeed.

    July 15, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. fayse

    Mitch McConnell is not doing the President any favors, he is merely trying to transfer the blame to President Obama. If he were to actually get his plan through the Congress and Senate then, he could point the finger at the President and then, the Republicans would start screaming impeachment because that would be against the Constitution. Like all Presidents, he does not spend the money, that is the job of the Congress.

    July 15, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. al in memphis

    Where were the free market principles when the public had to bail out the banks and Wall Street? Will someone send me a clip of the Tea Party protest during Bush last days and the bail out programs started on his watch? I'll accept post due deliveries.

    July 15, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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