Quotes of the day

“‘I don’t think that more than 20 of the 87 [Republican freshmen] would vote to increase the national debt,” said another of the new members in close talks with colleagues about the vote.

“The sense among new members is that, for a significant number of them, a vote to raise the debt ceiling would be unconscionable in light of their campaign promises…

“‘The same folks who told us that if you didn’t do bailouts, ‘we’d fail’ are saying, ‘If you don’t raise the debt ceiling, you’ll have the same thing,’’ said Tim Huelskamp, an incoming freshman GOP legislator from Kansas. ‘Raising the debt ceiling without seriously bringing debt under control is certainly unsustainable economically and politically. And if [legislators] didn’t get that message the first time, there’ll be another election two years from now that will be the same thing.'”

“And despite wide agreement that a showdown is looming over tea partiers’ willingness to authorize more debt, the freshmen members of Congress indicated that they can support a higher national debt limit — if it’s accompanied by an agreement to achieve a balanced budget.

“‘I personally think that’s the answer,’ [Sen. Mike] Lee said.

“‘If there’s a balanced budget Constitutional amendment that is tied to the debt ceiling, I will vote to increase the debt limit under those conditions,’ Rep.-elect Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said. ‘But we have to make progress. This unsustainable deficit that we are incurring is the greatest national security threat that American faces.'”

“When asked about the controversy voting to increase the debt limit might cause, one member had strong words: ‘There is a time for campaigning and a time to govern,’ Guinta said.”

“‘The debt ceiling is a pivotal issue, a linchpin issue,’ says Peter Bordow, a Tea Party organizer in Arizona.

“‘There needs to be a broad understanding of the effect of this decision, but I think we are inevitably going to need to swallow a difficult pill someday,’ he says. ‘Not raising the debt ceiling may be that difficult pill.’

“That position has been echoed by newly elected Tea Party-backed House Republicans, including Mike Kelly, a Pennsylvania car dealer. ‘Raising the debt ceiling is absolutely irresponsible,’ he said during an appearance on CBS News…

“And GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, said recently that she is ‘not looking to shut the government down’ but is gathering signatures on a petition to prevent a debt ceiling increase.”

“In the past decade, experts on both sides have boasted about permanent majorities. The country has no time for such foolishness.

“Our future is as uncertain and tenuous as at any point in our history. The perfect political moment to tackle our debt problem will always be a mirage just beyond the horizon of the next election.

“The time for hard choices, and leadership that honors our heritage of service and sacrifice, is now…

“I’d suggest the new members have a chance to secure not just an outpost, but a beachhead for freedom in a struggle as significant as any in our history.

“For new members, this can be your D-Day against debt, and the dissolution of the republic itself. You can make history not with your words, but with your actions.”

“Ron declared that he is not in favor of raising the debt ceiling saying ‘I never voted for any of the spending, so why should I raise the debt for the people who’ve been spending the money? For me it’s a very comfortable vote.’ Ron admitted if the debt limit isn’t increased it will cause problems, but thought that the alternative of continuing to borrow and spend endless money is much worse, and instead would rather face reality today.

“The younger Paul dismissed Goolsbee’s warning and claimed since President Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling as a senator, ‘it’s a little disingenuous for [his] people to say ‘oh the sky is falling if we don’t do it.” However, Rand is a bit more pragmatic than his father, suggesting ‘I’ll vote to raise the debt ceiling if we attach a balanced budget rule to it. If they say no more debt will be added and from here on out we’ll balance the budget, I’ll vote one time to raise the debt ceiling.'”