“We have a ticking time bomb that we’re sitting on top of,” incoming Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said of the coming vote. “That’s been a large part of the conversation for the freshmen,” one that comes up every time new members meet, he said. “The consensus has been that we did not come to raise the debt. We came to get it under control. So anything that increases it will be incredibly hard to do.”
“I don’t think that more than 20 of the 87 members 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.
Lankford and other members said they are seeking guidance from a variety of sources about the consequences of voting against it. But so far, they haven’t determined what those consequences might be.