House conservatives not sold on Boehner plan
July 25th, 2011
10:36 PM ET
7 years ago

House conservatives not sold on Boehner plan

Washington (CNN) - Now that House Speaker John Boehner has unveiled his proposal to cut about $3 trillion in spending and raise the debt limit, his task is to round up the votes to pass it in the House later this week, but conservative skepticism of the plan could make that a heavy lift.

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who heads up a large group of fiscal conservatives in the House, came out against the plan Monday.

"While I thank the Speaker for fighting for Republican principles, I cannot support the plan that was presented to House Republicans this afternoon," Jordan said in a written statement.

In addition to Jordan, 38 other House Republicans have signed a pledge that they would not vote to raise the debt ceiling if it didn't adhere to the principles in the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill that passed the House last week. Boehner admitted his plan is "built on the principles" of that plan, but doesn't go as far as that bill would.

Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, said he's still undecided on Boehner's plan, but said, "some of the details are troublesome."

Asked what he thinks of the idea of a joint committee created to come up with $1.6-1.8 trillion in deficit reduction later this year, Flake put his hand in his mouth, as though he was going to gag. "How many commissions have we had? Come on. That's not a solution," he said.

Another conservative, New Jersey Republican Scott Garrett said he's waiting to read the bill, but emphasized he wants to see more cuts sooner.

House Republicans have been pushing for significant and immediate cuts, but the way the Boehner proposal is structured, while it would cut $1.2 trillion over 10 years, the cuts in the first year would amount to a $24 billion reduction in non-defense discretionary spending.

The initial figure for the first year's cuts "may be problematic, so we'd like to see whether that can be plussed up," Garrett said.

But it appears the major problem House conservatives have with Boehner's plan is that a central part of their "Cut, Cap, and Balance" plan - a requirement that Congress pass a balanced budget amendment before raising the debt ceiling - is not in the bill. Boehner's plan requires that both the House and Senate vote on an amendment before the end of the year, but doesn't mandate that it must pass.

Several of these conservatives said they would continue to insist the plan require passage of a balanced budget amendment. Flake predicted if it were included in the House GOP bill, it could gain support from conservatives, who view that amendment as the key enforcement mechanism for ensuring significant spending cuts actually happen in the future.

Complicating Boehner's task is his margin for error could be low if the solid wall of Democratic opposition holds up. The bill needs 217 votes to pass, so House Republican leaders can only afford to lose roughly 23 Republicans.

Number two House Democrat Steny Hoyer told reporters he's already working to solidify Democratic opposition to the bill. And several Democratic congressional aides said House Democratic leaders are aggressively pushing their members to stand united on Wednesday against House GOP plan, arguing it puts more pressure on Boehner to pass it with largely, if not all, Republican votes.

Boehner, in his rebuttal to the president, predicted the House would pass the measure this week.

House Democratic caucus Chairman John Larson told reporters all the members who attended Monday night's Democratic caucus meeting oppose the plan.

"A supermajority of the caucus is opposed," Larson said. There were five Democratic defections on the GOP's "Cut, Cap, and Balance" plan, and while Larson couldn't guarantee those fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats would oppose the new House GOP bill, said he believes once they review the details, it would be hard for them to support it.

One encouraging sign for Boehner - one of the most vocal House conservative voices, freshman Republican Allen West of Florida, told reporters he's supportive. He sent a message out via Twitter on Monday evening, saying "I will support the new debt deal- it has enough of what I need including no tax hikes, spending caps and a step toward a balanced budget."

Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole complimented Boehner's handling of the debt negotiations, noting this was his 10th vote on the debt ceiling and the first time the debate focused on spending cuts. On the vote on the new GOP plan Cole argued, "It's a test for the Republican conference, not for the Speaker, if we don't [pass the bill] shame on us, not shame on John Boehner."

Filed under: Debt • Deficit • House Republicans • John Boehner
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. IAB

    It is so obvious the only mission of the GOP to make attempts to destroy Pres. O. The GOP does NOT about the working, middle class people in America. The GOP is bought and paid for by the 2%, the billionaires, like the Koch Bros. The more educated people realize this. All they do , the GOP is to divide the country.

    I pray everyday the Mcconnells, boehners, cantor, bachmann etc will wake up, change their cold hard hearts do waht is best for all Americans not the ones who own them. When men try to destroy another man, one who is concerned about his fellow man they are the ones who will be destroyed. Psalm 27
    I pary eachday

    July 26, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  2. Cate

    Boehner – the "Boehn" of our existence!!!! He's showboating to get his 15 seconds in the history books at our expense. PLEASE, can we move on to what really matters?????????????????

    July 26, 2011 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  3. IAB

    It is so obvious the only mission of the GOP is to destroy Pres. O. The GOP does NOT care about the working, middle class people in America. The GOP is bought and paid for by the 2%, the billionaires, like the Koch Bros. The more educated people realize this. All they do , the GOP is to divide the country.

    I pray everyday the Mcconnells, boehners, cantor, bachmann etc will wake up, change their cold hard hearts do waht is best for all Americans not the ones who own them. When men try to destroy another man, one who is concerned about his fellow man they are the ones who will be destroyed. Psalm 27 GOD is always in control.

    July 26, 2011 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  4. Joe W

    Top 2% control 25% of the nation's wealth. That is up from 10% just 20 years ago. IT IS CLASS WARFARE and 95% of the country is losing.
    The Repub's keep working the fears with lies and exaggerations and the red staters keep drinking the kool-ade.

    Not new taxes, taxes as they were under the Repub's Saint Reagan. would have reduce the debt by TRILLIONS over the last 10 years. But nope, Drink that kool-ade. You gonna owe your soul to the company store.

    July 26, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  5. TruthAndBeauty

    Instead of a cross, the Albatross,
    Across my neck was hung.

    The albatros is the tea party,
    Boehner is the ancient mariner

    July 26, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  6. concerned

    This is not the time to start going against the grain. Wait till our jobs and economy are a bit more stable before trying it a new way

    July 26, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  7. wesieu

    well the gop will take down the country. 36 million seniors get no checks.. etc. one good outcome of all this is the gop ends may 2. the gop candidates will. be hunted down by seniors like wounded animals requiring the police to defend them. ryan goes back to janesville and the national guard defends his house. cleveland citizens troop to boehners home city and burn his family bar to the ground. ya gotta love the gop taking the country down. as w said bring it on.

    July 26, 2011 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  8. bj

    I am so outraged at the lies and the way they have attempted to belittle the President of the United States. Stop lying CNN by saying the 2010 elections were a call out for people frustrated with the spending. They came out because they were mad about a Black man becoming President. That is the truth and you all know it is, so stop lying. This is like Custer's last stand, in the case of these folks it is the KLANS last stand. The Republicans are doing everything they can including trying to stop people from voting. I guess you won't touch that one, I have to rely on Rachel and Keith (at that other station) for that little tidbit of information. At least there is some one out there telling the truth and not pretending to tell the truth. I figured that out by how your continually promote the Palins. Ain't much truth to her either.

    July 26, 2011 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  9. The Unsub

    The Republicans are doing a horrible job! Boehner is a spineless ventriloquist of a Speaker with the Tee Party controlling this dummy. They have no respect for President Obama! I think the President should exercise the 14th. amendment and aprove the debt ceiling on his own! The Reps. will pay at the ballot box dearly! The People did not want this!

    July 26, 2011 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  10. chava

    Hello Sir,
    why were all the principles that you preach now not followed during Bush presidency? If you truly believe that the budget can be balance by cutting spending, why did bush give charge with 10 trillion dollar deficit? why was it not balanced? you people were supposed to cut spending at other areas when you are spending on war right?
    Another ridiculous argument is no tax hike on job creators. you are fighting for the outsourcing companies which are creating jobs overseas. These companies are outsourcing the jobs due to the difference in currency exchange value. Are you ready to devalue the dollar to china's currency level to create pro business atmosphere in USA? you simply argue that the policy is not pro business. it is not the policy that is causing the is currency value that is causing it

    July 26, 2011 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  11. laura lyon

    This has to end. Sorry, I agree that it's time to look at why I'm paying more taxes as a single working mother (who also has to pay for childcare) than one of the fund managers who's making billions and nearly dropped us into the abyss with no repurcussions. My Dad was and is a small farmer but why are we giving billions in subsidies to the megafarmers who are really the mega ag conglomerates? The congress may think we're all stupid and ignorant to the goings on but I say, just try us. They are and have been putting our livelihoods in jeopardy....what little livelihoods we have left. Who's seen a raise lately? Who's working extra hours now that all the layoffs have put more and more on their workload with no relief in sight? Who's home is underwater or seriously less than it was? The government budget does not work like a home budget. You can't keep putting that crap out to us. Yes, I agree, we have to get a more serious and insightful outlook as to what we do in the future but you've got to be congnizant of what's happening now and messing around and acting like a spoiled child (who I would consider taking to counseling), is not what the regular American People need right now. We need our Congress to show leadership which they have truly been lacking. I'm on the President's side on this one. He may lose his position come election but darn it, I believe he's trying to do the right thing. God help us what's going to happen if he doesn't make it. It will be a long hard row to hoe and I put it at the Congress' feet and then God help them. They will not be long for their aspiring power hungry aspirations. I believe the election after 2012 will rid us of all of what ails us now.

    July 26, 2011 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  12. John/kc

    Pick out those bills that the US must pay, the ones the republicans want paid first, then pay them last, like the troops, veterans, and all people that are associated with the republicans. If the tea party wants to play hard ball, then let their followers be the last ones paid at the public trough!

    July 26, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  13. samuel

    I am a Rep, but after seeing this crazy support for the top 2% who are unwilling to return to paying taxes for the nation.
    Not a taxes HIKE...but to the normal level before Bush. I would love to get a tax cut when I buy a car or fishing boat from extra income. The GOP is protecting these type of taxes ? Why ? The dont increase jobs. That is the long pole ! And it did, where are the jobs ? The taxes levels have been in place since GB. Also, the supports who make less than the top 2% who are somehow fooled into support the GOP "No taxes", remina me of the poor Southerns who fought because they were told the North wanted to take away there jobs with the end to Slavery. Fought for the top 5% who owned slaves.

    Amazing. I really need to find a party that wants to get America but to leading the world and take care of American before we go spreading our weath around the world. We cant provide Heath Care for needly Americans. However, I watch our military go into others countries and provide free medical and dental...etc. We wasted Billions in fraud during two Wars. But, we cant see pulling together as Americans to provide care for older and needy Americans ! What type of people or we ?

    Maybe I should just stay in Japan ! But, I love my country and trust Americans to be the great people we are.....but it will take compromise from everyone in these tough times. And when we are in a position to allow for tax breaks to the 2%. Than no problem ! They have earned it...but right now. Everyone should be attempting to give a little to save this great Nation ! Without America at full stregthen. The entire world is a concern...

    July 26, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  14. jamesnyc

    The Republicans are going to destroy this country over petty partisan politics. The rest of the world is amazed at the sheer stupidity and obstenance and hypocrisy of their actions. No other president, not Reagan, Bush Senior or Junior, had their debt ceiling raises questioned. it just goes back to what McConnell said: they are out to destroy Obama's presidency and they don't care if they destroy the U.S. in the process. Fear mongering monsters.

    July 26, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  15. computernerd

    This crybaby is just playing roulette with our financial system. Hes already been told this plan will not pass the senate and would be vetoed.

    July 26, 2011 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  16. Manny

    In the past, debt ceiling had been raised without any congressional fight such as this. Why the uproar? Is it because of President Obama's race and the republicans can't get over it? Common, election is over, get used to it. He did not cause this defit balloon, his predecessor did. Tax cut for the rich $1.6 trillion, interest on the tax break $1.3 trillion, Stimulus $800 Billion (President Obama) so why now making a fuss as if this president caused the debtarmageddon? It is a damm shame for the Tea party congressional reps to sign a damm pledge by Nordquist, who cannot balance his own budget, what do you call this? Principle or shear stupidity? Wake up fellas, get off the Greg bandwaggon and learn what your inaction coun
    ld cause the American people. Your allegiance to Grg Nordquist is just the blind leading the blind.

    July 26, 2011 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  17. linus

    Republicans are a bunch of hypocrits. Where were they when Bush disposed of a huge surplus by giving it solely to the very rich, when he started two unfunded wars that keep adding to the debt by trillionsof $$ and by passing Medicare part D totally unfunded? Where was their cry for a balanced budget then? Now they want to balance the budget on the back of the poor and the elderly!

    July 26, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  18. Zil Zerimar

    I think there is now a three party system in the United States. The Democratice Party, the Republican Party and the Tea Party. The more the merrier. And I'm sure the Congress will not accomplish anything. We got what we deserve. Politicians who are only after their own welfare and for the the americans.

    July 26, 2011 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  19. Deb61978

    John Boehner is very scary and makes me very nervous, I bet i am not the only person who feels that way

    July 26, 2011 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  20. crysis63

    compromise people... we need compromise!

    July 26, 2011 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  21. kurtis

    Fuggin Republicans are worse then the Taliban and will be the ones who ultimately destroy the middle and lower class working families.. I saw it's time to march on them and physically remove them all from office.

    July 26, 2011 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  22. Vence

    I got a better solution. Civil war!

    July 26, 2011 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  23. John in Brooklyn

    Clearly Boehner can't even speak for his own party. Its clear that the rank and file Tea Party lunies are wrecking the Republican Party...and brining down their Speaker with them.

    July 26, 2011 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  24. Matt Bogard

    The Republicans are still fueling class warfare! What part of "fair taxation" don't the Republicans get? The T party people must go. They are not doing what the American people want! Out they should go!

    July 26, 2011 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  25. CaliforniaBC

    Funny how the S&P 500 said they'd lower the US's credit rating with BOehNER's plan.

    July 26, 2011 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
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