Boehner Plan Pits Norquist and Chamber vs. Club for Growth and Heritage

By Eliza

Jul 26, 2011 3:57pm

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf (@zbyronwolf) reports:

President Obama today said he would veto House Speaker John Boehner’s debt ceiling plan. But Conservative groups are split.  While it does not insure sweeping deficit reduction, it does mandate $1.2 trillion in mandatory discretionary spending cuts. Some groups say it doesn’t do enough to change the system. Others are worried about the effect a government default would have on the economy.

Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax reform, which administers the anti-tax pledge signed by most sitting Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, issued a statement Monday night, shortly after Boehner’s plan was announced, supporting it.

And today the Chamber of Commerce said it would hold a vote against Boehner’s plan against lawmakers.

“This legislation is critical. Default on debt obligations is not an acceptable option,” wrote the Chamber’s Bruce Josten in an alert to members of Congress. “The time for Congress to act is now.”

“A default on the obligations of the United States would most assuredly cause severe, immediate, and pervasive economic harm in the form of higher interest rates, a decline in the dollar, a drop in the stock markets, higher oil prices, and the loss of economic growth and jobs,” he wrote. “Political brinksmanship is no longer an acceptable strategy for either the White House or congressional leaders.”

But two other conservative groups said they would hold a vote in favor of the Boehner plan against Republicans.

The anti-tax group Club for Growth, which has fomented primary challenges against moderate Republicans in recent elections and now has its eyes set on the two longest-serving sitting Republicans in the Senate – Richard Lugar of Indiana and Orrin Hatch of Utah – writes in an alert to members of Congress that a vote for Boehner would be unacceptable.

“The Club for Growth strongly opposes the Boehner Debt Limit plan,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “The Boehner plan does not achieve the goals of Cut, Cap, and Balance and doesn’t fix our fiscal mess. We are urging Club Members to call their members of Congress and ask them to oppose it.”

In their alert to members, the club advises: “From the start of this debt ceiling debate, the Club has advocated strongly for a plan that makes large, immediate spending cuts to the budget, a hard spending cap on all federal spending, and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that limits spending and requires a supermajority to approve tax increases. The Boehner Plan does not achieve these tenets. It cuts almost nothing immediately, it caps only discretionary spending, and it does not require passage of a balanced budget amendment."

And the Heritage Foundation’s issue arm – Heritage Action for America – also sided against Boehner and said it would hold a vote in favor of the House Republican debt plan against members.

“Speaker Boehner’s most recent proposal to raise the debt limit is regrettably insufficient to  our times,” according to Michael Needham of the Heritage Action Center. “Step one of the Speaker’s proposal would cut $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending. Assuming all of these cuts materialized, this would reduce our nation’s projected debt at the end of the decade from $24.9 trillion to $23.7 trillion.”

It goes on to question the need for a blue-ribbon panel to consider deficit reduction.

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