When House Speaker John Boehner put forth his latest effort at breaking the debt limit deadlock, we got a fairly strong whiff that perhaps he was going too far beyond the Cut, Cap and Balance plan that the House passed last week. It appeared as though Boehner was treading into the realm of negotiating with himself; having passed Cut, Cap and Balance through the House it was clearly the Senate’s turn to answer, and by coming up with a new plan in its own right – whether within the spirit of CCB as the Speaker claims or not – he was failing to use the best negotiating tool available, namely the power to shut up.
It appears that fear wasn’t just ours. It’s shared by several Republicans in both the House and the Senate. One of them is Sen. David Vitter, who today panned Boehner’s latest move and said he wants to go back to Cut, Cap and Balance as the basis for a debt limit deal.
In a statement this afternoon, Vitter said Boehner’s last idea just isn’t good enough…
“From the very beginning of this debate, I’ve said very clearly that we need to address the real issue – out-of-control spending and debt – not just the debt LIMIT. Sadly, the Boehner bill doesn’t do that. So I’ll vote no if it comes to the Senate.
“By the way, key folks in the market like Standard & Poor’s have said the same thing. And they warn now that the Boehner bill could lead to a downgrade of our credit rating.
“I’ve already voted for a plan that addresses all of these issues in a bold, positive way – Cut, Cap and Balance – which cuts federal spending, places caps on annual spending levels and requires the passage of a balanced budget constitutional amendment. And I’ll continue to work on constructive ideas to truly reduce government spending, our debt, and the size of the federal government.”