The conservative debate over the Boehner plan is very similar to the one over the continuing resolution that averted a government shutdown in April. Conservatives who thought Republicans would pay the political price for any shutdown, thus setting back the cause of more meaningful spending cuts, thought avoiding that scenario while getting even token budget cuts was a victory. Conservatives who were less concerned about the fallout of a government shutdown wanted nothing less than real spending cuts.
That debate is playing out once again. Conservatives who think Republicans will be hurt by August 2 passing by without an increase in the debt ceiling support the Boehner plan. Those who think Republicans can survive that deadline want something much stronger. The biggest problems facing conservative Boehner plan supporters this time is that 1.) the CBO score of the CR turned out to be so deflating last time and 2.) the CBO has already scored the Boehner plan this time around before the vote, with less than dazzling results.
There remains an argument for taking whatever spending cuts can be gotten, even if they are insufficient to resolve the debt crisis, and living to fight another day. We’ll soon see if that’s the conservative mood.
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