Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan has a message for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: Follow the real leaders, in the House, and balance the budget.
The Ohio Republican cited a CNN poll today showing that two-thirds of Americans support the cut, cap, and balance plan the House passed in a bipartisan 234-190 vote Tuesday.
“Senator Reid keeps asking the House to show him the way forward,” Jordan said. “We already did — it’s called cut, cap, and balance — and the CNN poll taken this week confirms that he is standing in the way of a plan that 2 out of 3 Americans support.”
Jordan challenged Reid to allow open debate and an up-and-down vote because the plan “can pass the Senate with bipartisan support as well. Senator Reid’s decision to hide behind Senate procedures and filibuster the cut, cap, and balance shows us that he knows he is once again on the wrong side of the American people.”
During an earlier, exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Jordan said debt-ceiling negotiators should forget about the Senate’s “Gang of Six” proposal and focus on the House.
The Gang of Six plan is a “terrible idea” that includes more tax increases and cuts in national defense, Jordan said.
“All the spending cuts happen in the out years, the tax increases happen in the first year — and frankly, we haven’t got all the details, but this is sort of what we know from what people have been saying and what we’ve heard,” he said. “So I don’t think it has much of a chance, certainly not with me and a lot of the conservative members of the House Republican conference.”
Proponents of that plan are Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Mike Crapo of Idaho, and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Democrats Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Dick Durbin of Illinois.
“I would say is forget about the Gang of Six — remember the gang of 234, 234 members of the United States House of Representatives, in a bipartisan way, passed the cut, cap, and balance plan. That is the plan that will fix the problem, that is the plan that is on the table, that is the only plan on the table that can get that kind of votes in the House. Harry Reid, bring it up for a vote and let’s see what happens in the Senate.”
Jordan acknowledged that conventional wisdom in Washington maintains that cut, cap, and balance cannot pass in the Senate but noted that conventional wisdom can be wrong.
“Someone tell me what’s not common sense about the idea that the government spends too much and we should reduce spending this first year, we should limit the growth of government so let’s put a cap on spending as a percentage of our economy as we move forward, and then, finally, let’s put that constraint in place like everyone else has, to have a balanced budget requirement put in the United States Constitution and ultimately begin to rein in politicians who want to spend, and spend and spend and is spending money we frankly don’t have.”
Jordan noted that everyone — from families; to small businesses; to townships, municipalities, counties, and states — must abide by a balanced budget “except that one entity that just happens to have a $14 trillion debt, the federal government.
“Of course we need this,” he said. “For the president to stand up last Friday and say we don’t need a balanced budget amendment we just need to do our jobs. Oh, really that worked very well the last 40 years, that’s why we have a $14 trillion debt. It defies logic to hear their argument. This is not a Republican plan; this is a common-sense plan. I’ll tell you what: Five Democrats supported it . . . It has bipartisan support on the floor of the House of Representative, and it passed. And now we need Harry Reid to bring this up in the Senate.”
On other issues, Jordan said:
America will not default on its debt if no agreement to raise the debt ceiling is reached by Aug. 2. Sufficient revenue is coming in to pay bond holders and Social Security and to take care of those in uniform. “For the president of the United States to stand up and try to scare people is frankly just not what the president of this great country should be doing.”
The deal that Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., put forth to give the president the authority to raise the debt ceiling has “zero” chance of success in the Republican conference. Jordan characterized it as a bad idea with constitutional concerns.