House GOP whip says “no votes” for debt ceiling increase without spending reform

posted at 2:15 pm on May 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

With a difficult debate coming up this summer on budgets, spending, and American debt. don’t expect House Republicans to make it any easier for Barack Obama.  Despite calls from House Democrats to pass a “clean” debt-ceiling increase — one without any other riders — GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy says there is a grand total of zero votes in the majority caucus for that position:

A bill to raise the debt limit without spending cuts attached would not get a single Republican vote in the House, the GOP’s top vote-counter said Wednesday.

“I can tell you as the whip, there is not one Republican vote on a negative-debt-limit bill where no cuts are proposed,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters at a news conference.

While Republicans have demanded significant spending cuts and budget reforms in exchange for authorizing more U.S. borrowing, a majority of the House Democratic caucus has called for a “clean” debt ceiling vote, saying the GOP is holding hostage the full faith and credit of the federal government.

On the other hand, Eric Cantor suggested that there may be indeed one vote for a so-called clean bill.  The House Majority Leader told reporters that the GOP might allow Democrats to bring such a bill to the floor for a vote — just to demonstrate how little support it has.  It would also allow Republican challengers in 2012 to attack Democratic incumbents on the issue as irresponsible on spending and extreme, considering how unpopular a hike in the debt ceiling is on its own.

In this case, Republicans will be doing Democrats no favors with this gift.  Don’t expect Democrats in the House to accept this offer — and if they do get a floor vote on their proposal, expect a lot of defections among the remaining moderates in their caucus.

In the other chamber, Obama is having his issues with unity on the budget, too:

Obama will meet with the Democratic caucus to talk about a way forward on the stalled debt deal. As it stands, moderate Democrats like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin are taking a hard line on the debt limit and threatening to refuse Obama’s request for more borrowing power without spending curbs.

The current danger for Obama and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is that the movement for spending caps will continue to gain support among moderates like Manchin.

The cap plan, also backed by Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, would set government spending at about 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (5 percent lower than current spending) and force across-the-board cuts if the government exceeds those limits.

With the bipartisan Gang of Six fading from the discussion and the administration’s August deadline for increasing government borrowing approaching, the pressure is growing on Reid and Obama to find a deal that can at least get the support of the Senate’s 53 Democrats.

Senate Democrats are feeling the same heat on this topic as their House counterparts — and less fortunately for them in this case, they actually count.  If the Democrat-controlled Senate attempts to float a debt-ceiling hike with no structural reductions in federal spending, 2012 will look like 2010 all over again for Democrats in what will already be a difficult election cycle.  House Democrats can hide behind their minority, but not those in the Senate.  And Obama won’t have the coattails to protect them, either.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

And Obama won’t have the coattails to protect them, either.

That’s not what the AP says.

Doughboy on May 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Great, does this mean we’re winning the argument over cutting back on spending vs. taxing the country into oblivion?

Chip on May 11, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Sellout. Spending can always be raised tomorrow. But once the debt ceiling is raised, it isn’t ever going back down again. The GOP will raise the debt ceiling, in order to score a few quick points which will amount to nothing but more spending in the future. The only way to really limit spending is to limit the debt ceiling. You know what they say, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.

keep the change on May 11, 2011 at 2:22 PM

This is a good read on “Debt-Ceiling Myths.”

Fallon on May 11, 2011 at 2:23 PM

But Obobo has 60 billion percent!!!11!!! Eleventeen

andy85719 on May 11, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Fear not Obama.

Boehner will announce $200B in cuts. Then the vote will be taken, the debt limit is increased. And 3 days later we learn that $200B is actually $1B just like the last time around we learned $38B ws really $350M.

angryed on May 11, 2011 at 2:26 PM

A spokesperson for the Republicans says they will not budge until they receive a spending cut of ONE MEELION DOLLARS.

The Mega Independent on May 11, 2011 at 2:27 PM

“GOP whip”? That’s what we need.

faraway on May 11, 2011 at 2:35 PM

And Obama won’t have the coattails to protect them, either.
That’s not what the AP says.

Doughboy on May 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Which is why I have learned to take anything the AP says these days with a proverbial grain of salt.

pilamaye on May 11, 2011 at 2:38 PM

We’ll see what the Republicans are made of. If they fold on this, then there’s nothing they won’t fold on. Public opinion is overwhelmingly on their side. It shouldn’t be that hard to keep Obama from outflanking them in the public debate so polls shouldn’t change very much. It has to be hard being a Democrat congressman.

cartooner on May 11, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Maybe we can get bummah to tax messicans living here illegally,then they would go home?
We could tell them if the show up they will get free travel vouchers to Cancun.After they pay a little something,we will know where they live and erik the holder can send em a bill along with the IRS.

Col.John Wm. Reed on May 11, 2011 at 2:38 PM

If we could only guess which walnut shell the pea is under.

nico on May 11, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Just throw dear leaders words (in 06) back in their faces

cmsinaz on May 11, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Not one more dime toward raising the debt ceiling period. Any Republican who votes to do so without tangible spending cuts in the trillions will find themselves in the “private citizen” category in January 2013.

As I see it already, Obama is going to be a one term President. Here is hoping that the next POTUS doesn’t wait for a political season in which to take action.

itzWicks on May 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Doughboy on May 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM

The AP can’t see how short Obama’s coattails are from their position (his pants are in the way).

TallDave on May 11, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Suuuuuurrrrrreeeee. I’ve heard this one before. Boehner promises 110 gagillion in cuts aannnnnd low and behold we end up with virtually no cuts except for shady accounting tricks. I’ll believe it when I see it.

search4truth on May 11, 2011 at 2:53 PM

“Just print more money…!

… Do I have to do everything around here? – Obowma

Seven Percent Solution on May 11, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Business 101-You cannot rely on the people who got you into the mess to get you out of the mess.

rjoco1 on May 11, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Coming soon to a country near you: Irish Bombshell: Government Raids PRIVATE Pensions To Pay For Spending

slickwillie2001 on May 11, 2011 at 3:25 PM

If the Democrat-controlled Senate attempts to float a debt-ceiling hike with no structural reductions in federal spending, 2012 will look like 2010 all over again for Democrats in what will already be a difficult election cycle. House Democrats can hide behind their minority, but not those in the Senate.

Senate Republicans can also filibuster any debt-ceiling bill without serious spending cuts, so the pressure will be on Senate Democrats to make enough spending cuts to get 60 votes, that can also pass the House.

Steve Z on May 11, 2011 at 3:29 PM

If real spending reform were enacted, they would not have to raise the debt ceiling. Don’t get fooled again.

Valiant on May 11, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Wonder if I’m one of the few around who thinks we could pay off the entire bill tomorrow, without raising taxes, without going into debt, without hyperinflation-and we’ll still have the same problems anyway?

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 11, 2011 at 4:40 PM

With the bipartisan Gang of Six fading from the discussion

That’s a relief!

disa on May 11, 2011 at 5:19 PM

And Obama won’t have the coattails to protect them, either.

That’s not what the AP says.

Doughboy on May 11, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Oh, that mostly Dem poll? LOL

disa on May 11, 2011 at 5:20 PM

The debt ceiling will be raised. Spending will not be cut.

Bugler on May 11, 2011 at 6:33 PM

test

Dire Straits on May 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM