Club for Growth Pres: GOP Reps shouldn’t ‘fear the Club for Growth as much as they should fear their own constituents’

By Eliza

Jul 27, 2011 5:18pm

ABC News' Amy Walter (@amyewalter) reports:

One of the biggest critics of Speaker John Boehner’s so-called “two step” plan on the debt ceiling is the conservative group the Club for Growth. In a statement yesterday afternoon, the group wrote that the legislation “simply doesn't fix the country's fiscal problems. We strongly oppose it and we urge a NO vote.”

On “Top Line” today, Club For Growth President, and former U.S. Rep. Chris Chocola reiterated his opposition to the bill, saying “the Boehner plan does not solve our long-term debt crisis” and “gives the president additional authority to raise the debt ceiling.”

While acknowledging that “we’re willing to look at” the “latest iteration of the Boehner plan” and “hope there’s something we can be for,” Chocola noted that the “previous plan said let's have confidence in Congress that they'll do the hard work later. I'm not sure what Congress has done in a generation that would instill the confidence that they'll do the hard work later.”

So will there be a political price to pay for those Republicans who do support a bill that the Club doesn’t? After all, the Club for Growth has actively engaged in GOP primaries in the past.

“We will score the vote, we will put it in their scorecard, and make decisions on our actions in primaries and general elections based on our scorecards.”

So, should incumbents worry about being targeted for defeat by this well-funded interest group?

“I don't know that they should fear the Club for Growth as much as they should fear their own constituents,” said Chocola.  “The American people are the ones that ultimately elect members of the House and the Senate, and they're the ones that are really – as Congressman Guinta said – 64 percent of Americans believe in the "Cut, Cap and Balance" approach, which is actually the only plan offered that solves the problem.”

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