Michele Bachmann Opposes Boehner Debt Plan: ‘The Premise Is Wrong’

Jul 26, 2011 2:53pm

ABC News’ Michael Falcone (@michaelpfalcone) reports:

At a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann dealt a high-profile blow to House Speaker John Boehner’s plan to raise the debt ceiling and reduce spending as the nation hurtles toward the Aug. 2 deadline to avoid default.

Speaking to reporters outside a restaurant in Ankeny, Iowa, Bachmann stood by her refusal to vote to raise the debt ceiling.

“The premise is wrong,” Bachmann said of Boehner’s plan, which would tie $1.2 trillion in spending cuts to an immediate increase of $1 trillion in the debt ceiling. The Speaker’s plan would establish a committee to work out additional debt reduction accompanied by another increase in the debt ceiling at a later date.

“This Republican will not vote to raise the debt ceiling,” Bachmann said. “My colleagues will have to come to their own conclusion.”

And one of her colleagues, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, predicted on Tuesday that Boehner’s plan did not have enough GOP votes to pass in the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, Democratic leaders acknowledged that few of their members were likely to support the Speaker’s proposal.

Earlier Tuesday, Boehner sounded notes of optimism about the prospects for passing his plan. “I do think that we’re going to have some work to do to get it passed,” he told reporters on Capitol Hill, “but I think we can do it.”

As she campaigned in Iowa ahead of the state’s Aug. 13 Ames Straw Poll, Bachmann said, “people are saying ‘stop the spending and don’t increase the debt limit.’”

Bachmann touted a bill she introduced earlier this month along with Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Louie Gohmert, R-Tex., that would force President Obama to continue paying off the nation’s debt obligations even if Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on a plan to raise the debt ceiling.

“We can turn this around, we don’t have to be on the wrong track,” Bachmann said.  “It won’t take years like the president’s suggesting.”

She suggested a three-pronged approach: “spend less money, reduce the tax rate on job creators and repeal Obamacare.”

“If we do that,” Bachmann said, “we’ll see the economy turn around within a quarter.”

The Minnesota Republican criticized President Obama, who Monday night warned Americans in a primetime address to the nation that the standoff between the two sides risked “sparking a deep economic crisis.”

“The president has failed to exercise leadership,” Bachmann told reporters in Ankeny before spending about a half-hour meeting voters inside Palmer’s Deli and Market.

She asked the Iowans she met to come to the straw poll and cast their vote for her. “That’s the down-payment on taking the country back,” she told one voter.

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