RedState’s Erick Erickson reports that “there was an audible gasp” when Capitol Hill Republican staffers were told that Speaker John Boehner’s, R-Ohio, debt hike plan contained only $25 billion in cuts to discretionary spending next year. This is completely understandable considering that House Republicans already voted to cut $111 billion in cuts when they voted for House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s, R-Wis., Path to Prosperity earlier this year. Why Boehner chose to backtrack from that figure now is mystifying. House Republicans already unified around the Ryan budget once. That budget contains both a realistic plan to control our nation’s future deficits and higher borrowing needs than the current debt limit level. Why not use the Ryan plan as the basis for a debt hike that plan that can pass the House with a majority of Republican votes.
Around the Bigs
The Washington Post, President Obama, House Speaker Boehner present dueling debt-limit plans to nation: Presdient Obama and Speaker John, Boehner, R-Ohio, gave back-to-back televised speeches last night pitching their respective debt hike plans. Obama again called for higher taxes, while Boehner made a pitch for the plan he unveiled earlier in the afternoon.
The Washington Examiner, Conservatives bridle at trillions in ‘phony’ cuts: Burned by this spring’s budget deal, when $60 billion in cuts somehow became $32 billion, House conservatives are very leery of Speaker John Boehner’s, R-Ohio, claim that his debt hike plane actually cuts spending by $1 trillion. Conservatives are also not impressed by either the promise of a Balanced Budget Amendment vote or a Super Commission to cut entitlement spending. “We’ve already had 17 commissions over three decades and $13 trillion in new debt. No more commissions,” Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., said yesterday. “Why do we need to increase debt $2.4 trillion just to schedule a vote on the BBA?” a GOP aide asks.
The Wall Street Journal, Downgrade Threat Looms: Wall Street analysts are now seriously preparing for a downgrade of the U.S.’s AAA credit rating. “We have gone past the point of no return regarding the debt downgrade. We fully expect the U.S. will lose its AAA status,” analysts at Faros Trading wrote. Standard & Poor’s is demanding not just a debt limit hike, but a $4 trillion bipartisan deficit reduction deal.
USA Today, The drop-dead date on debt debate may be later than expected: New tax-receipt data indicates that the U.S. Treasury may have enough cash to pay bill for as long as a week after the supposed August 2nd deadline.
FOX News, Obama to Banks: We’re Not Defaulting: A senior banking official told Fox that “administration officials” have been telling major financial institutions that there is no danger of a default on U.S. debt. “They also know they can pay the debt with cash on hand,” the bank official said. The Obama administration has been telling banks, however, that a downgrade “is a real possibility for no other reason than S&P and Moody’s have to cover (themselves) since they’ve been speaking out on the debt cap so much.”
The Washington Examiner, New report shows American ATF officials in Mexico were kept in dark about ‘Operation Fast and Furious’: U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms officials working in Mexico were not informed about the Obama administration’s failed Operation Fast and Furious gun sting, according to a new report released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Committee Chair Darrell Issa, R-Calif., will hear testimony from ATF witnesses who traced a flood of new guns back to the ATF’s Phoenix office but were still not told about the program.
The New York Times, Federal Auditors Will Soon Review Health Insurance Rates in 10 States: Using powers granted by Obamacare, the Department of Health and Human Services will soon take over the review of health insurance rates in 10 states.
The Los Angeles Times, FAA in partial shutdown; air traffic unaffected: Air traffic controllers and other “essential” Federal Aviation Administration reported to work yesterday despite a shutdown of the agency due to congressional failure to extend its funding.
USA Today, Need a job? Move to Texas: Texas has contributed 262,000 to the 524,000 net new jobs that have been created since June 2009. Even counting just those states with positive job growth, Texas makes up almost a third of all new net job growth.
The New York Times, Recession Study Finds Hispanics Hit the Hardest: Hispanics suffered the largest decline in wealth of any ethnic group in the country during the recession, according to a Pew study of U.S. Census data published Tuesday.
Politico, A ‘stalemate’ in Libya: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs described the NATO campaign in Libya as a “stalemate” at a Pentagon press briefing yesterday.
Perry: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, leads the GOP field at 16% according to a new American Research Group poll of Florida Republicans. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is close behind at 15%, and Sarah Palin was third with 11%.
RedState‘s Erick Erickson reports that he has received “call after call after call from members of the United States Congress” asking for permission to raise the debt limit, but says “I can give no absolution for what you may be about to do.”
House Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohion, explains why he will not support the Boehner debt plan: “The credit rating agencies have been clear that no matter what happens with the debt limit, the U.S. will lose its AAA credit rating unless we produce a credible plan to reduce the debt by trillions of dollars.”
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, R-Wis., refutes charges that his budget contains the same$1 trillion Iraq/Afghanistan spending gimmick that is in Reid’s debt hike plan.
Robert Greenstein, President of the liberal think tank Center for Budget and Policy Priorities says of Boehner’s debt hike plan: “If enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.”
Commenting on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s, D-Calif. pronouncement that “we must enter an era of austerity” Atrios comments: “So it’s the austerity party vs. the austerity party. I suppose I’ll vote for the ones who really mean it.”