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Mitch McConnell to the Rescue?
July 14, 2011
Remember when I wrote about how crazy this week has been? It has again gotten crazier, but this time in a very good way. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Minority Leader in the Senate, just became the most recent and perhaps most prominent co-sponsor of S. 1340, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. Introduced by Senators Lee (R-UT), Toomey (R-PA), and Paul (R-KY), this legislative vehicle embodies the principles of the Cut, Cap, and Balance Coalition that NTU has joined along with over 200 policy and activist groups from across the country. The thrust of the coalition is to cut our deficit, cap spending, and secure a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution in order to ensure that any debt ceiling increase is tied to real, fundamental reforms to the way Washington does business. Along those lines, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act includes spending cuts for next year, a strong statutory spending cap, and a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling that ONLY goes into effect if Congress passes and submits to the states a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Now, mere co-sponsorship by one member of the Senate may not seem like a big deal at first, but this marks an important turning point in our efforts. I always say that I'm a big believer in the importance of "'big L' leadership" in Congress, meaning that the support or opposition of a party's leaders can make an enormous difference to a bill. Before today, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act had enjoyed widespread support, but had not yet been endorsed by any of the top Republican leaders in either chamber. Today, that has changed, and it's a signal that Republicans on Capitol Hill are coalescing around Cut, Cap, and Balance as the best plan in the debt ceiling debate.
This comes as word leaks that several Members of the House are working on companion legislation to achieve the same goals, an effort that I'd imagine would be embraced wholeheartedly by Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor. For a debate that has been marked by tremendous uncertainty and lack of coordination by conservatives, there are now signs that everyone is on or at least close to the same page: Cut, Cap, and Balance. It is the only comprehensive and conservative answer to our debt disaster because it provides the short-term (cuts), medium-term (cap), and long-term (balance) solutions necessary to maintain America's AAA bond rating and return our economy to prosperity and growth.
Mitch McConnell is now on board and I expect the bandwagon will be getting mighty full in the next few days. What a difference 24 hours makes in Washington, eh?
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