Tea Party Debt Plan Takes Center Stage, Vote Expected This Week
Congressional leaders are giving tea party-backed Republican freshmen the run of the House this week with a plan to let the government borrow another $2.4 trillion – but only after big and immediate spending cuts and adoption by Congress of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.
This "cut, cap and balance" plan is set to pass the House on Tuesday but is sure to stall in the Senate, where majority Democrats say it would lead to decimating budget cuts and make it harder to pass tax increases on the wealthy. And even if the scheme could pass, there's no way Congress will adopt a balanced budget amendment, which requires a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate.
But tea party lawmakers are insisting on the effort to try to put their stamp on the debate over the so-called debt limit, and GOP leaders – lacking other ideas that might win a majority in the Republican dominated House – were quick to give their OK at a spirited closed-door meeting on Friday.