ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The vote on Speaker John Boehner’s debt limit bill is set for today, but some Republicans have not gotten in line as the Speaker ordered.
St. Louis Republican Todd Akin says he will not vote for Boehner’s bill as he holds out for a “cut, cap and balance” bill, even though this option is not on the table.
“There’s only one solution that I’ve seen – and I’m open-minded to any that actually fixes the problem – and that is what the states do and every household in America does, and that is to balance the budget,” Akin said.
Senator John McCain recently criticized Republicans that continue to hold out for such a plan, saying they’re being unrealistic.
“What is really amazing about this is that some members [of Congress] are believing that we can pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in this body with its present representation, and that is foolish,” McCain said. “That is worse than foolish. That is deceiving.”
Akin said the real deception would be to continue high federal spending.
“I guess there’s a different way of looking at deceiving,” Akin said. “What happens if we just do what the President wants? What happens if we just increase his credit card ceiling so he can continue to spend as he asks for the authority to spend through the election next year?”
Akin said President Obama’s spending will lead to economic collapse, and while Boehner’s bill shows that Congress is serious about making spending cuts, the “cut, cap and balance” plan is the only real solution.
Boehner’s bill includes about $917 billion in savings over ten years, but Democrat Russ Carnahan said it doesn’t do enough.
“We need to have a balanced plan that includes a balance of cuts and revenues and we need to do it to get beyond the election period so this doesn’t keep happening,” he said.
Carnahan said there is some support on both sides of the aisle for closing loopholes in corporate tax codes and shutting down tax breaks for oil companies and companies that send jobs overseas.
“Those are some big chunks of the pie that need to be on the table,” Carnahan said.
He said Boehner’s plan doesn’t target this type of spending, but instead puts Medicare and other key programs at risk.
Illinois Republican John Shimkus praised Boehner’s efforts and said Congress deserves some credit for talking about substantial spending cuts.
“We all have to jump off the cliff together in entitlement reform,” Shimkus said.
Shimkus also said he distrusts the agencies that are suggesting that the nation’s triple-A credit rating could suffer.
“These rating agencies, they really tick me off because they’re the ones who told Bear Stearns and the TARP folks that they were fiscally sound when their financial system was based on a house of cards that fell,” Shimkus said.
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