It was my plan not to post again today, but this is one of those days when developments occur rapidly: Republicans, it now appears, are likely to revolt against the debt ceiling legislation cobbled together by Speaker John Boehner.
So, I was right to be superstitious that former Senator Fred Thompson’s glowing remarks on NRO on the GOP success with regard to the debt ceiling were premature. No, the Boehner plan wasn’t perfect, but it struck me as just about the best he was likely to be able to pass. The Washington Times summed it up:
Mr. Boehner‘s bill would reduce future discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion, grant an immediate debt increase of $1 trillion, and set up a committee to work on trillions of dollars in future deficit reduction either through more spending cuts or tax increases, which would then earn another future debt increase. It would also require both the House and Senate to hold votes on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
Here’s the rub:
But conservative Republicans in the House, many allied to the tea party movement, said they don’t just want votes on the amendment, they want an assurance it will be sent to the states. Mr. Jordan and other conservatives said they would prefer the Senate vote on the debt increase the House passed last week, that includes deeper spending cuts and requires both chambers approve a balanced budget amendment and submit it to states for ratification before any debt increase happens.
I am not speaking for anybody at IWF but myself when I say this is insane.
I am a tea party sympathizer. But they are wrong to think that in one fell swoop they can get a proposed amendment sent to the states for ratification.
Putting forward something as serious as an amendment to the Constitution isn’t anything that comes up one day and is sent out to the states within a few weeks.
If the tea party kills Boehner’s debt ceiling legislation over this issue, an issue that they have every opportunity to push in the future (if they don’t make voters so angry that they get early retirement), then they are not ready to legislate. They are flexing their muscles, showing their power, beating their drums. They are not trying to get the country on a sounder footing with this kind of behavior. Barack Obama must love them.