Saturday, July 16, 2011

Republican leaders embrace 'Cut, Cap and Balance' plan

House Republican leaders have thrown their support behind the "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan that conservatives are demanding in return for an increase in the federal debt ceiling.

According to lawmakers who attended an 8 a.m. meeting of the Republican conference, GOP House members rallied Friday behind an effort to cut spending, cap spending in future years and pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution — a package that has been pushed in the House by the Republican Study Committee.

“We asked the president to lead, we asked him to put forward a plan, not a speech — a real plan — and he hasn’t. We will,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said after the meeting.

Leaders intend to offer the plan later Friday in order to tee up a vote for the middle of next week.

Boehner was asked if the move to support the plan was a sign that the White House talks on the debt ceiling are dead.

“I don’t want to preclude any chance of coming to an agreement,” he said. Boehner demanded that Obama put forth a "real" plan with spending cuts and entitlement reforms.

One lawmaker told The Hill that the proposal is the GOP's response to President Obama's challenge — issued at Thursday evening's negotiations at the White House — to come up with an answer to the current impasse over raising the borrowing limit.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Republicans are looking for a permanent change in Washington's spending habits.

“We want to change the system here. We want to be able to go home to the people who elected us and show them that we are not going to allow this kind of spending to continue,” Cantor said.

“So we are going to bring a bill forward next week otherwise known as the 'Cut, Cap and Balance' bill to provide a balanced approach so we can demonstrate that we are getting things under control, that the people who put us here can gain some confidence that we are going to begin to live like they do around their kitchen tables and their businesses," Cantor said.

The plan would authorize a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling after Congress passes a balanced-budget amendment.

No comments: