Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this morning said he’s waiting for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to let him know what kind of debt limit deal would be able to pass the House, The Hill reports.
But Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has a message for Mr. Reid: The House showed the Senate the way forward last night, when it voted 234 to 190 to pass the RSC-initiated “Cut, Cap and Balance” legislation. The bill would cut spending by more than $100 billion in 2012, cap spending over the next decade and make a debt limit increase contingent on the dual passage and presentation to the states of a balanced budget amendment.
“In case Senator Reid didn’t notice, a bipartisan ‘Gang of 234’ just sent him the way forward,” Jordan said in a statement. “It’s called the Cut, Cap and Balance Act. This is the only plan that can fundamentally solve our debt problem, and it is waiting for Senator Reid to bring up on the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote. The House made its position in the debt debate crystal clear. It’s Cut, Cap and Balance.”
Reid, of course, favors Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s so-called backup plan, which would give President Obama the authority to request three separate debt limit increases to eventually arrive at the $2.4 trillion increase under debate right now. Theoretically, this plan leaves Obama alone accountable for any increase in the debt limit — but it nets no gains in the present debate.
The “Cut, Cap and Balance” coalition — a group of hundreds of non-profit political organizations, in addition to members of Congress who have pledged not to vote for a debt ceiling increase unless Congress passes CCB — cheekily calls the McConnell-Reid plan, “Cut, Run and Hide.”
The McConnell plan has some merit, but Jordan’s point is more, well, to the point. The House majority that passed “Cut, Cap and Balance” was a bipartisan majority. And CCB was crafted with the American people — the majority of whom supports cuts, caps and a balanced budget amendment (even though they’re also somewhat open to tax hikes) — in mind. What more does Reid need to at least allow the Senate version of CCB to see a vote? The president has promised to veto — but if the House and Senate handed him the Cut, Cap and Balance deal to increase the debt ceiling, the American people could at least see whether he means what he’s said about the imperative nature of a debt limit increase.