As mentioned this morning, U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston of Savannah and Jerry Lewis of California put themselves on a Monday evening conference call organized by Tea Party Patriots – a kind of campaign appearance in the race for chairman of the House Appropriation Committee.
Technical difficulties prevented my listening in, but David Weigel of Slate was more successful. He writes this afternoon that both Kingston and Lewis were asked if they’d support an increase in the federal debt ceiling.
Lewis said no. Kingston said no, but with a large “but.” A small increase in the debt ceiling would be worthwhile – if the price were right.
”[W]hat I think the Republican Party should do is say, if we get a spending cap, Gramm-Rudman type law in there; if we can get rid of all the unused stimulus funds, and if we get rid of all the used TARP funds, and if we can get private control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and root out some of these other government problems… in other words, there would be a big price for this, in terms of politically, for the president, to say, look, you’ve got to have this. This is what it’s going to take.
“And you could actually use a modest increase in the debt ceiling to leverage your ability to pass into law lots of long-term stuff that actually would help bring down the debt and the need to ever have to increase it again. The only reason why I say this is that there are some international implications. You see what’s going on right now in Spain and Greece and Ireland. We’re not part of the EU. We don’t want any system like that. But we need to make sure we keep our sovereignty and financial viability.”
Here’s a link to the PowerPoint presentation Kingston gave to his House colleagues on the steering committee today.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider