Yesterday, Fox News reported the House is setting itself up to vote for the debt ceiling deal the House GOP leadership and some fiscal conservatives have agreed on. The deal, which includes raising the debt ceiling for three months in exchange for Senate Democrats actually passing a budget as well as some cuts in discretionary spending, was opposed on Sunday by 61% of Tea Party Patriots’ local coordinators.
It appears our local coordinators were wise to do so, because last night President Obama came out in surprising support of the House’s deal. Given the President’s complete lack of seriousness regarding the debt, and his insistence on higher taxes over spending cuts, his support leaves Tea Party Patriots more concerned than we were on Monday about the deal.
However, not all fiscal conservatives are in agreement with Tea Party Patriots on this issue. As stalwart Tea Party ally Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told activists on Sunday, he is supporting the deal. According to Rep. Jordan, he dislikes giving Congress any excuse to kick the can down the road, but he believes withholding the pay of Members whose chamber doesn’t pass a bill will incentivize a return to normal budget order. He also believes this strategy will give fiscal conservatives a media advantage in the coming months of debate, should the House’s plan become law.
While Tea Party Patriots respects Rep. Jordan’s opinion on the matter, the fact is that activists have been told by GOP leaders for two years now that going big (in this case, not raising the debt ceiling and therefore balancing the budget immediately) is not an effective strategy. “Wait until the next time” was the battle cry from Washington. Yet here we are, and as Rep. Jordan pointed out, the GOP leadership has squandered two years of opportunity.
Well, no more. We have yet to see any cuts in any budget agreements in the last two years. Even sequestration was kicked down the road in exchange for more spending and tax increases in the fiscal cliff deal. It’s long past time for Washington to show the American people real spending discipline, and that will not happen by raising the debt ceiling again.
Call your House Representatives today. Tell them to not pass the deal House leadership is setting up with President Obama’s support. Make sure they hold against this push to, again, kick the proverbial can down the road.