As contentious negotiations continue on the issue of raising the nation's debt limit in Washington, a Tea Party group is accusing House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of "betraying" the coalition of conservative activists with their actions in the ongoing debate.
Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips said in a statement, “Boehner and McConnell are the predatory credit card issuers of the Entitlement State, they’re about to renew Obama’s cancelled Mastercard, and they want to saddle America’s grandchildren with all of the bills.” He warned of efforts on the right to recruit conservative challengers to take on "House GOP RINOs" in primary races in the next election cycle. According to Phillips, the issue of who will be targeted comes down to one simple question: "Did the member vote for the McConnell-Boehner cave-in or for any cheap giveaway of more national debt?”
The AP reports on the state of talks to raise the debt ceiling as of midday Tuesday:
House Republicans pushed ahead Tuesday toward a vote on legislation that would raise the nation's debt limit in exchange for trillions of dollars in federal spending cuts and congressional approval of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
But with the measure facing a veto threat from the White House, Speaker John Boehner said he was exploring other alternatives to avoid a government default threatened for Aug. 2.
"I do think it's responsible for us to look at what Plan B would look like," he said at a news conference a few hours before the opening of debate on the legislation backed by conservative lawmakers.
Reuters reports on a contentious proposal to raise the deficit limit put forth by McConnell:
McConnell's plan to avert an imminent U.S. debt default could lead to a day of reckoning for his Republicans as they weigh the prospect of fiscal disaster against the demands of Tea Party activists.
With other efforts to raise the federal government's debt ceiling at a standstill, McConnell's "Plan B" to avoid default is increasingly seen as "Plan A" in Washington.
The proposal by the top Republican in the Senate would dump the task into the laps of President Barack Obama and his Democrats, forcing them to back a $2.4 trillion increase in borrowing before the November 2012 elections as recession-weary voters worry about the country's growing mountain of debt.
A small bipartisan group of senators is also working to advance a plan to raise the debt ceiling. According to the Treasury Department, the United States is set to begin the process of defaulting on its debts on August 2.
(Click here for the latest developments to unfold in the deficit debate. )
Below, the statement released by Tea Party Nation on Tuesday.
TEA PARTY RIPS “BOEHNER-McCONNELL RINOS” FOR DEBT CEILING CAVE-IN
TEA PARTY NATIONAL CONVENTION
TO RECRUIT HOUSE GOP PRIMARY CHALLENGERS
Candidate Scorecards: “Zero or 100%, nothing in between.”
(WASHINGTON, DC – July 19) As House Republicans prepared a Tuesday vote for $2.4 trillion in new national debt, Tea Party leaders ripped Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for betraying the movement that put Republicans in charge of the lower chamber last year.
“Boehner and McConnell are the predatory credit card issuers of the Entitlement State, they’re about to renew Obama’s cancelled Mastercard, and they want to saddle America’s grandchildren with all of the bills,” said Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation (www.teapartynation.com), the country’s oldest, largest and most active Tea Party umbrella group.
Phillips said the Tea Party National Convention he’s chairing this fall “will focus on recruiting conservative primary challengers to House GOP RINOs and frosh complicit in any giveaway of more borrowing authority to President Obama.
The Tea Party’s 2012 scorecard for this Congress will have just one issue: Did the Member vote for the McConnell-Boehner cave-in or for any cheap giveaway of more national debt?” In Tea Party parlance, “RINO” means “Republican-In-Name-Only.”
Allen Unruh, founder of Tea Party South Dakota and director of the Tea Party Founding Fathers, added that “RINOs voting wrong will win a big, fat zero on their Tea Party credit rating. Their FICO scores will crash along with their careers as we push Tea Party-backed opponents in the primary, the general election or both. Meanwhile, Members who don’t vote wrong will win a 100% score plus the fervent loyalty of our people in their district. It’s zero or 100%, nothing in between.”
Phillips announced that the 2011 Tea Party National Convention, originally scheduled for Kansas City, KS with his support, has been reset for a new state based on strategic electoral considerations and the desires of a new group of funders. Phillips said, “We and our capital sources felt that Kansas was the wrong place for our movement to gather this fall because it’s not an early primary state, not a swing state, and not blue-state territory where Tea Partiers might recapture turf from the left. Instead, the new, currently-secret location we’ll soon be announcing for our late fall event will empower our movement to slingshot into 2012 for the same kind of impact we had in 2010.”
Phillips said, “House Republicans can’t let Obama keep borrowing 40 cents on each dollar of federal spending. The ratings agencies have clearly said Congress must cut back on the federal credit card.” He said Tuesday’s planned House vote to condition a debt hike on sending a constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment to the states was good, but that “voting for the ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’ plan won’t save you from the Tea Party’s wrath if you ultimately vote for a cheap giveaway of more debt to Obama, as McConnell and Boehner are planning.
“A failed CCB bill gets you no cover. The ONLY way any Republican may get forgiveness from us is if he obtains a high price tag like $500 billion in 2012 first-year cuts, defunding of Obamacare and Planned Parenthood, sweeping reform of all health care entitlements such as Medicare, and actual Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment,” Phillips said.
Phillips founded the country’s first Tea Party umbrella group in early 2009 and hosted Sarah Palin at the original Tea Party National Convention at Nashville in February, 2010. According to web metrics from Alexa, Tea Party Nation’s website leads all other Tea Party websites for traffic. Phillips said he is inviting William Temple, chair of the Kansas-planned event, to serve as a spokesman for the 2011 Tea Party National Convention now to be held elsewhere. “Upon final approval of this strategic new location by our funders and convention board,” said Phillips, “we’ll be unveiling an amazing, technology-based strategy for hunting RINOs and defeating Democrats in 2012, starting with this fall’s Tea Party National Convention.”