Conservative groups come out against Boehner proposal
July 26th, 2011
05:53 PM ET
11 years ago

Conservative groups come out against Boehner proposal

Washington (CNN) - As House Speaker John Boehner and the House Republican leadership continues to build support for its proposal to raise the debt ceiling, several influential tea party and conservative groups Tuesday voiced opposition to it.

House GOP leaders are working the conservative members of their caucus to try and get enough support to reach the 217 votes needed to pass the Speaker's plan in a vote scheduled for Thursday. That proposal would couple $1.2 trillion in savings over a decade with a hike of just under $1 trillion in the debt limit that would extend it through the end of the year. It also calls for the formation of a congressional committee to find $1.8 trillion in deficit savings, and if that is enacted the debt limit would increase by $1.6 trillion.

"I do think that we're going to have some work to do to get it passed, but I think we can do it," Boehner told reporters Tuesday.

Many of these conservative groups and members only would support increasing the ceiling if it is accompanied by larger spending cuts as well as enactment of a balanced budget amendment while some others flatly oppose any hike.

Club for Growth, a national network of activists who promote economic growth and low taxes, announced Tuesday it was opposing the Speaker's plan. The group strongly backed the bill passed last week by the House that would have cut and then capped federal spending and pushed a balanced budget amendment.

"The Club for Growth strongly opposes the Boehner Debt Limit plan," Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement. "It cuts almost nothing immediately, it caps only discretionary spending, and it does not require passage of a balanced budget amendment. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, it simply doesn't fix the country's fiscal problems. We strongly oppose it, and we urge a no vote."

It said a congressman's vote on this debt bill will be a key part of its legislative scorecard.

Meanwhile, two key tea party groups also are opposing the Boehner plan – the Tea Party Express and the Tea Party Patriots.

Several groups, including the Tea Party Express and American Grassroots Coalition, are planning a "Hold the Line" rally Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Among the featured speakers are: Sens. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

The group said it thinks the elements of "Cut, Cap and Balance" "absolutely must be an intrinsic part of any plan to raise the debt ceiling, or it will not have the support of the tea party movement," Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell told CNN. He said the group is activating its members to attend the rally, and if they can't they should call their lawmakers.

"We've been saying we don't want a deal, we want a solution!" Russell said.

Another group, Tea Party Patriots, opposes any increase in the debt ceiling.

"Our local coordinators by 95% reject the proposal Speaker Boehner currently has on the table. It does not seriously address the overspending problems our government faces," Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder and national coordinator for the group, told CNN. She said her group also has been urging its members to call Capitol Hill with the message: "Enough is enough. The American people will no longer stand for promises of the future. We demand real cuts and real action now!"

To try to assuage conservatives' concern, Boehner again called Rush Limbaugh's show on Tuesday saying Republicans won't give President Obama a blank check for spending and will not raise taxes as part of any deficit deal.

"It cuts $2.5 trillion from the discretionary portion of the budget over the next ten years, and puts spending caps in place that will make sure that that savings actually does, in fact, occur … [B]ecause the greatest risk to our country is not missing August the 2nd, the greatest risk is that we do not make the cuts necessary to put our financial house in order."

Seventy-four percent of tea party supporters would favor raising the debt ceiling if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved. Seventy- four percent of tea party supporters also said in the same poll that they would oppose raising the ceiling several times in the next 18 months while cutting a smaller amount in government spending and not raising taxes.

CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh and Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story.

You can follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN

Filed under: Club for Growth • Debt • Deficit • John Boehner • Tea Party movement
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. John N Florida

    I'll bet Boehner misses the good old days of 2008 -10 when all of the good little Republicans Goose stepped together to thwart the President and Democrats at every turn. Now, he can't even depend on Cantor to back him up.
    The Republicans hold 180 seats, the Democrats have 193, and the Tea Party has 60.
    Boehner has to grovel to get the 60 or, horror of horrors, make deals with the Democrats.
    Talk about Coalition governance.

    July 26, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  2. kyle

    If a deal is not made, it's the stock market, and the billionaire boys club who will suffer, the GOP don't want that to happen.

    July 26, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. indyreader

    Sooooo,... is he gonna cry about it?

    July 26, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  4. Goodbye Republican Party 2012

    This is getting dangerous. We must vote these animals out next year.
    We can not afford deep cuts right now!! People are hurting!!
    It is NOW that we need to pour in money into the economy.

    July 27, 2011 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  5. Tim M.

    First of all, I think people are looking at the debt ceiling the wrong way. I relate it to a personal credit card. If I have to rely on a personal credit card each and every month to 'balance' my personal budget, then I need to make changes. The easiest way to change is to cut some of my spending habits. If I still need the credit card after cutting some of my spending, then I need to make more money. For a person, that equals getting a part-time job, for a government that equals increasing revenues somehow. The problem here is that Democrats believe we can tax the rich more, and that will solve our problems; and the Rebublicans believe we should just cut spending and that will solve our problems. TO MOST PEOPLE, THEY BOTH ARE WRONG.
    Taxing the rich only gives a higher limit on the 'credit card' for Democrats to spend, while cutting spending only hurts the people that need help the most. The elimination of tax loopholes, would dramatically improve the revenue the Government brings in, and I know for a fact that the spending cuts could easily come from other places other than needed services for the elderly (Medicare, Medicaid...although there is some waste in these programs that need to be removed also). For anyone that has ever been in the Military, we know how much different things cost because of Government contracts, that would be a good place to start.

    Historically, I have voted Republican, and don't believe in 'spreading the wealth'. What I do believe in is our elected officials need to start using some COMMON SENSE, AND FORGET ABOUT HOW THIS IS GOING TO AFFECT THEM IN THE NEXT ELECTION.

    July 27, 2011 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
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