U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, announced this afternoon that he couldn’t support House Speaker John Boehner’s deficit-reduction/debt-ceiling plan.
From the press release:
“While I’m supportive of the Speaker’s fierce resistance to job-destroying tax increases, the debt reduction elements within this proposal have already been tried in the past and failed to stop our government from amassing the $14 trillion debt we have today. Most concerning is the failure to demand the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment.
“Merely promising another vote will not get the job done. Any spending cuts or caps enacted today will eventually disappear without a constitutional requirement for a balanced budget.”
Graves is hardly alone. From the Wall Street Journal:
The leader of a large group of House conservatives said Tuesday he was “confident” there weren’t enough GOP lawmakers to pass a plan by Republican House Speaker John Boehner to increase the debt ceiling and reduce the deficit.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), who said the Boehner plan didn’t cut spending enough, heads a group that includes 178 of the 240 Republican House lawmakers.
The spectacle of a House speaker unable to rally members of his own caucus doesn’t happen every day – regardless of who’s in charge. In a chat this afternoon, Buddy Darden, an Atlanta attorney and former Democratic congressman, made this point:
“The responsibility of being the ruling party, or the party in charge, is that you’re responsible for a positive outcome. This, in my mind, is unprecedented – that the speaker can’t get a majority of his own caucus to step up. There are enough Democratic votes if he can get a majority of his own caucus to pass it.
“But personally, it looks to me like [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor is undermining the speaker….The speaker has apparently lost control of his caucus – which I’ve never seen.”
“I was there with three speakers – with Tip [O’Neill], Jim Wright and Tom Foley, the weakest of whom was Tom Foley. But still, there was a certain recognition that when the time came, you did what you had to do. Some of us, at different times, didn’t always go along with the caucus. But we realized that there were certain times – when it came to the speaker, when it came to the rules, when it came to the overall operation of the body – that you had to step up.”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider