House GOP lawmakers to meet Obama
Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 8:01 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans invited to a White House meeting with President Obama today are trying to build up pressure for trillions in spending cuts in exchange for any increase in the government’s ability to borrow.
House Speaker John Boehner released a statement ahead of the meeting this morning, signed by more than 150 economists, which backs his call for spending cuts that would exceed any increase in the debt limit. “Increasing the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts and budget reforms will send a message to American job creators that we still are not serious about ending Washington’s spending addiction,” Boehner said in the statement.
Dozens of House Republicans arrived in buses at the White House midmorning for their meeting with the president. The session comes on the heels of a symbolic and lopsided vote the day before against a GOP proposal to raise the cap on the debt limit by $2.4 trillion. The proposal, intended to prove that a bill to increase the borrowing cap with no spending cuts is dead on arrival, failed badly Tuesday on a 318-97 vote.
Democrats said the lopsided tally was aimed more at giving tea party-backed Republicans an opportunity to broadcast a “nay” vote against the administration’s position that any increase in U.S. borrowing authority should be done as a stand-alone measure uncomplicated by difficult spending cuts to programs like Medicare. A more painful vote to raise the debt ceiling looms for Republicans this summer.
In discussing Tuesday’s vote, 8th District U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Frog Jump) said, “Today, I joined my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives by voting to reject a bill to increase the debt ceiling without corresponding spending cuts. The failure of this vote sends a message loud and clear to Washington that we are cutting up the government credit card and ending the culture of wasteful spending.
“We cannot pass a vote to increase the debt ceiling without significant spending cuts as well. The federal government simply cannot afford to keep spending money that it does not have. Washington must begin living within its means.”
Published in The Messenger 6.1.11