WASHINGTON — Republican Chip Cravaack confirmed Friday morning that he intended to vote no on Speaker John Boehner’s debt ceiling plan Thursday night.
Appearing on KTLK-FM radio, Cravaack said Republicans were two votes short of passing the plan, which would have cut billions in spending in exchange for a $1 trillion increase in the debt ceiling. The bill would have established a commission of lawmakers to find an additional $1.8 trillion in savings that Congress would have had to approve before allowing another increase in the ceiling next year.
The bill would have been dead on arrival in the Senate, where Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said there were not enough votes to pass it.
Late last night, after hours of high-level negotiations with lawmakers still on the fence, GOP leadership cancelled a vote on the plan, which had already been delayed from Wednesday. Cravaack said a new plan will be unveiled at a Republican conference meeting this morning, and it will likely require the states to consider a balanced budget amendment in exchange for an increase in the debt limit.
“We held the line,” Cravaack said. “One of the big things I wanted to get in there was that we have a solid way forward for the next generation on a way to start lowering the [debt] down again — a balanced budget amendment.”
Minnesota Republicans John Kline and Erik Paulsen were in favor in the budget plan, according to interviews and reports. Michele Bachmann has taken a hard stand against raising the debt limit altogether, something Cravaack called “the nuclear option.”
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.