A handful of Republican lawmakers are speaking out against House Speaker John Boehner's plan for reducing the deficit and raising the debt ceiling, arguing that the plan fails to go far enough to reduce the debt.
House Speaker John Boehner has been urging the GOP to support his recently-unveiled proposal for raising the debt limit - and has gone so far as to suggest that it has the necessary support to pass through Congress.
In a closed-door meeting with his caucus Monday, the speaker said the GOP plan has the votes to pass through Congress - and that President Obama will subsequently be forced to sign it. Boehner called on his caucus to stick together to achieve Republican goals.
Conservative Republicans, however, are already revolting against Boehner's proposal.
In a statement Monday afternoon, Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan said he opposed the Boehner plan, and that "only a Balanced Budget Amendment will actually solve our debt problems."
"Cut, Cap, and Balance is the only plan on the table that meets this standard," said Jordan, one of 38 conservative lawmakers who earlier this year signed a pledge to vote against any debt increase that was not attached to an amendment to the Constitution requiring a balanced budget. "Only a Balanced Budget Amendment will actually solve our debt problems."
Boehner's two-step proposal to raise the debt ceiling, which he unveiled Monday afternoon, mandates immediate cuts and caps in discretionary spending in exchange for a short-term increase to the debt limit. A second increase to the debt limit would then be tied to a further deficit reduction, to be determined by 12-member committee.
The proposal also requires the House and Senate to vote on - but not necessarily pass - a Balanced Budget Amendment by the end of the year.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, another proponent of the Balanced Budget Amendment, objected to the speaker's plan on the grounds that it made "hollow promises" for fixing the nation's economic problems.
"Both plans represent typical Washington answers to the federal government's out-of-control spending problem," Lee said in a statement, referring both to Boehner's plan and a Democratic proposal released by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday. "They add trillions to the national debt in the short-term while making hollow promises to cut spending in the long-term. Neither of the proposals fundamentally reform the way Washington spends money, require the federal government to balance its budget, or protect our triple-A credit rating."
Democrats, meanwhile, have repeatedly rejected the idea of a short-term increase to the debt limit, and are currently focused on pushing Reid's plans through Congress. Despite Boehner's claims, the GOP plan is unlikely to gain the necessary traction in the Democratic-controlled Senate.