Two Tea Party GOPers Say ‘No’ to Latest Debt Deal

Aug 1, 2011 2:11pm

ABC News' Amy Walter (@amyewalter) reports:

Given that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., both voted against the first version of the debt-ceiling legislation, it’s not all that surprising that both told ABC’s  “Top Line” today that they are voting against the latest negotiated deal.

Chaffetz told us that he “can’t support it,” while Duncan said his “analysis of the plan is something I can't support.”

Even so, both believe that the Tea Party came out a winner in the process.

Chaffetz: “The fact that we're now having a serious discussion about debts where we're talking about cutting spending, that there's no tax increases that we're talking about right now, that's a huge, at least moral victory, I think, or a lot of fiscal conservatives that were concerned about the financial health of this country.”

Duncan: “I can go back to my state and say that we as the 87 freshmen Republicans or the Tea Party, whatever you want to call us, had an impact on this process and we got us talking about cuts to government spending. We're talking about deficit reduction. We're talking about the nation's debt, and we're talking about getting our fiscal house in order.”

So given the success that these fiscal conservatives have had on the debate in Washington, why can’t they support a final deal?

For Chaffetz, one big sticking point was the creation of a so-called super committee, a bipartisan group of 12 lawmakers who are charged with identifying another $1.5 trillion of deficit reductions.

“I really don't like the commission,” Chaffetz told “TopLine." “You're centralizing power in 12 people. I don't know what they're going to come up with. We already have a bipartisan commission: It's called the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. It ought to be able to work its will, and so I'm not a fan of the commission, and I am a huge fan of the balanced budget amendment, and that's really the direction. I think if we want a solution — not just a deal — we really have to gravitate towards a balanced budget amendment, and I think it would get broad bipartisan support.”

Duncan cited the lack of a balanced budget provision and real serious deficit reductions as the key reasons for his “No” vote.  

“We're talking about adding $2.4 trillion to the nation's debt just in the next two tranches or the next two debt-ceiling increases,” Duncan said. “We're spending a trillion and a half more than we're bringing in and the math I did with the cuts and the programs in this particular piece of legislation we're still going to be about $1.2, 1.25 trillion in deficit spending going forward from this, and so we've got to address the deficit spending.”

Even though he’s voting against it, however, Chaffetz believes that “a lot of Republicans, if not most Republicans, will support” the bill.  

A vote in the House is expected sometime after 6 p.m. today.

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