Allen West backing Boehner’s debt deal, Pelosi welcomes “age of austerity”
posted at 7:53 pm on July 25, 2011 by Allahpundit
I will support the new debt deal- it has enough of what I need including no tax hikes, spending caps and a step toward a balanced budget.
US Senate has no credibility. Sen Reid has had 815 days to produce a budget- nothing & now he wants to produce a debt plan. Zero credibility
Big news, needless to say. West’s support gives Boehner’s plan instant grassroots cred and therefore political cover for other tea-party freshmen to grudgingly support it, which is exactly what the GOP leadership needs to keep the plan viable in the House. It also signals a fracture within the Cut, Cap, and Balance Coalition, of which West is a member and which, as a group, opposes the plan because it punts entitlements to a commission and doesn’t demand a vote up front on a balanced-budget entitlement. Boehner’s back in the game!
Or … maybe not:
The chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee wasted little time announcing his opposition to the House GOP leadership’s two-step plan to raise the debt ceiling.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who stood — visibly uncomfortable — next to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) during Monday’s announcement of the plan, released a statement saying he would vote “no” on the measure…
Jordan argued that his leadership team should stand behind a measure that the House approved on a party-line vote last week — the “cut, cap and balance” bill that failed in the Senate.
“The credit rating agencies have been clear that no matter what happens with the debt limit, the U.S. will lose its AAA credit rating unless we produce a credible plan to reduce the debt by trillions of dollars. Cut, Cap, and Balance is the only plan on the table that meets this standard. Only a Balanced Budget Amendment will actually solve our debt problems,” Jordan stated.
DeMint’s also against it, of course, but Mike Pence is reserving judgment and Grover Norquist’s group supports it because it includes no new tax hikes. (Neither does Reid’s plan, actually. Do they also support that?) With so many conservative power-brokers pointing different ways, maybe Boehner can get to 218 with most of his caucus plus a few Hoyer-ish Democrats.
Or … maybe not:
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on proposals announced today to reduce the deficit and avoid default:
“It is clear we must enter an era of austerity; to reduce the deficit through shared sacrifice…
“The latest proposal from the House Republicans is a short-term plan that burdens the middle class and seniors, and continues this debate about whether we will default in a few months from now.
“Senator Reid has put forward a responsible plan to reduce the deficit that protects the middle class, and Medicare, Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. It also includes many proposals already supported by Republicans.”
So there’s the answer to my exit question in the earlier post about Reid’s proposal. Yes, in fact, House progressives will support a bill that doesn’t raise taxes and cuts over $2.5 trillion (almost half of it in phony war “savings,” of course) so long as it doesn’t touch entitlements and spares the Lightbringer the inconvenience of dealing with this issue again before the election. And if they’re willing to do that, maybe centrist Democrats will decide to go for broke by lining up behind Reid as a viable option and voting no on Boehner. Either way, take some comfort in the fact that the GOP’s resolute push for meaningful cuts now has Nancy Pelosi croaking out praise through gritted teeth for “austerity.”
Which brings us to the new exit question: Can either of these bills pass both chambers? With Democrats lining up behind Reid, Boehner will have to pass his bill mostly or even solely with Republican votes. Even with West on his side, I’m not sure he can get to 218 — although, ironically, the fact that Democrats are pulling together may help convince reluctant freshmen Republicans to back Boehner either in the name of party solidarity or to make sure that Reid’s plan, with the help of moderate GOPers, isn’t the only one that gets to the Senate. Even if Boehner gets it through the House, though, how does McConnell get it through the Senate with DeMint and a few other Republicans bound to vote no while Senate Democrats rally behind Reid’s plan as some sort of gaudy fiscally conservative alternative? Hard to see how the GOP gets to 60 but it’s pretty easy to see how Reid does thanks to Brown, Murkowski, Collins, Snowe and three or four other Republicans who’ll vote yes simply in the interest of averting default at the eleventh hour. The only question is whether House Republicans can hang together to block Reid’s bill in the lower chamber, which will now be much harder with Pelosi supporting it. If she and Hoyer deliver, say, 160 Democrats, are moderate Republicans really going to walk away from that, knowing that Default Day is impending and that Boehner’s bill is DOA in the Senate? I’m skeptical.
Update: West on the Boehner plan:
Even Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.), a freshman and tea-party favorite, told National Review Online that while the plan was a “75 to 80 percent solution,” it was something he could ultimately support. “You know, son, one thing they tell you in the military — if you sit around and wait to come up with the 100 percent plan, then the enemy has probably already attacked you,” he said.