The Tea Party backed “Cut, Cap and Balance” fiscal plan has passed the House by 234 to 190, on a largely partisan vote, but has no chance of becoming law. The bill will probably not pass the Senate and the President has promised to veto it. According to Huffington Post:
Five Democrats, including Reps. Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Health Shuler (N.C.) and Dan Boren (Okla.), sided with Republicans in passing the measure. Nine Republicans opposed the bill, including Tea Party favorite and GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). In a statement issued after the vote, Bachmann said the bill “does not go far enough” and should have included provisions to defund health care reform.
Other Republican defectors included Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.), Francisco Canseco (Texas), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Connie Mack (Fla.) and Ron Paul (Texas). Paul said he has never voted for a debt ceiling increase and never will. In addition, he took issue with Republicans for not including defense cuts in the mix of discretionary cuts.
“All spending must be deemed discretionary and reexamined by Congress each year,” Paul said in a statement. “To allow otherwise is pure cowardice.”
Tuesday’s vote comes after weeks of Republicans touting the bill as proof of their commitment to conservative principles. It includes three provisions: substantial spending cuts, statutory spending caps, and a constitutional amendment to require the government to balance its books each year.
“This bill panders, even grovels, to Tea Party extremists,” Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) said. “Thank goodness this bill will never pass the United States Senate. Thank goodness this bill will never become law.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney described Cut, Cap and Balance as Duck, Dodge, and Dismantle. Republicans and Democrats exchanged barbs:
“You guys are ruining this country’s fiscal future,” Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) said to Republicans. “Shame on you for playing with fire on the United States Constitution. Shame on your ‘Cut, Cap and Ruin the United States.'”
Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said the debt debate reminded him of a scene from the book Alice in Wonderland, when Alice told the Cheshire Cat she didn’t really care where she went in her travels.
“I get the sense my friends on the other side of the aisle don’t really much care where we go,” Young said.
So anyone really know the major components of CC&B or DD&D? Somehow that is all lost in the rhetoric. The debt ceiling needs to be raised. The country needs to operate. The R’s need to stand up to the Tea Party and look at the reality of things. Finally, why is the House wasting time on legislation they know will go no where. Just let the grown ups get the job done.