ABC News Rick Klein (@rickklein) reports:
The debt deal signed by President Obama today has enraged voices on the left, with liberals in Congress joining with conservatives to provide “no” votes for a measure that wound up passing both the House and the Senate rather convincingly.
On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, called it “fairly insane” for Democrats to cut a deal on the debt ceiling that is tied to long-term commitments on spending and deficits. The president should have simply used his constitutional authority to avert default, rather than strike a deal with Republicans, he said.
“The very fact that you make raising the debt ceiling contingent on a broad deal to deal with the national debt is fairly insane,” Kucinich told us. “We should not have ever been in that position to begin with. And frankly, the president as a backstop could have invoked the 14th Amendment if he had chose to. There's no reason why we should ever be in a position of making decisions on a 10-year budget that would slash social spending that would set the stage for reduction in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, all because we were told this is the only way we can handle this — I can't buy that and didn't buy that.”
Kucinich also blasted the concept of a “super-committee” made up of members of Congress dictated budget cuts, as the debt deal calls for.
“It's like, ‘Honey, I shrunk the Congress.’ Congress is now reduced to a majority of seven members on a committee that can make decisions that 535 members of Congress were elected to represent from districts and states all over this country. So this is anti-democratic, frankly. The structure of government is, in a sense, being radically transformed by this deal. Everything about this deal is wrong.”
Kucinich said Democrats should be pushing to spend more money, not less, given the economic distress in the country.
“The time we need to get the economy moving, what do we do? We come up with this brilliant plan to cut spending — oh boy,” he said.
“I'm not the only democrat who's concerned about it — we've done everything wrong here,” Kucinich added. “Now we have this problem with jobs — will the party do anything about it in time for the election? We've lost our capacity to have that kind of flexibility to be able to stimulate the economy.”
Kucinich also told us about his own political future. With his district in danger of being eliminated as part of the redistricting process, he said he’s still weighing his options for running from another state, with much of the speculation centering on a newly created district in Washington State.
“I hope to be running for Congress in 2012. I can’t tell you exactly where my name will be on a ballot — I don't think we have maps that will enable me to make the decision. I'm hopeful to continue to serve in the Congress,” he said. “Let's talk in about a month or two and maybe I'll be able to give you a better answer.”