“The willingness to kick the can down the road is easy,” said Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin. “We understand the Republican strategy. But when it comes right down to it, this strategy will cost our country.”
Several House Republicans expressed unease over the bill and a few said they intend to vote against it. A defeat of the measure would be another setback for Boehner, who was forced to pull his “Plan B” proposal during the fiscal cliff showdown because of a lack of House Republican support.
Boehner is banking that his assurances will tilt some Republicans who’ve expressed skepticism about the short-term plan.
But freshman Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said Tuesday that he’s likely to buck his party leadership and vote against the measure.
“If your principles lead you to vote for a three-month debt limit extension, which one of your principles would prevent you from voting for a one-year extension?” Massie said. “It’s a difficult vote, the most difficult in my two months here. I’m suspect that the strategy will work. It’s like punting on first down.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told Fox News’ Lou Dobbs that the plan won’t work “without spending cuts.”
“Not without a balanced budget amendment, something more than just kicking the can down the road,” Gohmert said.
In a speech Monday to a gathering of conservatives in Charleston, S.C., Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., accused Boehner and House Republicans of surrendering to Obama on the debt ceiling.
“I saw the speaker on TV handing the newly sworn-in president a flag,” Politico reported Paul as saying. Noting that the debt ceiling deal was announced last week following a House Republican retreat in Williamsburg, Va., Paul reportedly said, “They came out of their retreat and retreated.”
Republicans did receive a bit of good news on the bill from the anti-tax Club for Growth, which said it does not consider Wednesday’s vote a key one on its congressional scorecard, meaning the group will not criticize lawmakers who vote for it.
“We don’t think it’s great policy, but we’re not calling it a key vote,” said Barney Keller, a spokesman for the group. “Our position has never been, ‘Don’t raise it (debt ceiling) under any circumstances.’ Our position has been that Congress should do its job and put us on a sustainable fiscal path.”
David Lightman of the Washington Bureau contributed