Cut, Cap and Balance Coalition Blasts Senate Minority Leader's "Last Choice Option"

One of the biggest blunders in recent congressional history occurred on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. yesterday when the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, came up with a scheme to solve the debt ceiling crisis which is called the "last choice option" (which is now being called the "McConnell Contingency Plan.")

The McConnell Contingency Plan infuriated conservatives all over America last night and today, including the Tea Party movement, which gave the Republicans control of the House of Representatives and a pick-up of 6 new Senators.  The Cap, Cut and Balance Coalition  -- of which Christian Coalition of America is one of the original members  --   is determined to stop the McConnell Contingency Plan from going into effect. 

McConnell proposes giving Obama new powers to ask Congress to increase the government's debt ceiling. 

Under McConnell's plan, Obama, if he wants to increase the debt ceiling, could do so three times  --  in the extremely unlike event that the McConnell legislation passes  --   and he could request such increases up to $2.5 trillion in borrowing authority in three installments over the next year.

However, Obama would at the same time have to propose spending cuts of greater size.  The bottom line is that the McConnell legislation would guarantee Obama increasing the debt ceiling by a whopping $2.5 trillion with NO spending cuts which would be approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.  That would be the practical effect of the McConnell Contingency Plan.

As Sean Hannity said tonight, "it is like handing over the keys to the car to a teenager who does not have his learning permit."  Sarah Palin told Hannity that McConnell and Speaker John Boehner cannot retreat; they cannot wave a flag in front of Barack Obama and surrender. 

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) told CBS' "The Early Show" today that McConnell's idea isn't something he likes.  DeMint said, "Republicans weren't elected last November to make it easier to spend and borrow and add to our debt."

As mentioned above, the Cut, Cap and Balance Coalition is determined to stop Senator Mitch McConnell's scheme.  Note their letter to Senator McConnell, with a copy to Speaker John Boehner, directly below:


July 13, 2011

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Senate Republican Leader                            
United States Senate                                                 
Washington, DC

Dear Leader McConnell:

On behalf of our coalition of over 70 outside groups, greater than 150 Tea Party organizations and more than 180,000 citizens who have signed our Cut Cap Balance pledge, we are writing to inform you that we strongly oppose the so-called “contingency plan” introduced Wednesday. It is unacceptable to our coalition, and we will do everything we can to ensure that it is defeated.

Rather than empowering the executive branch to use its discretion to propose its favorite spending cuts, Congress should pass the Paul-Toomey-Lee Cut Cap and Balance bill (S. 1340), which has 18 additional Senate cosponsors and would raise the debt limit, but only if Congress first sends a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states.  State ratification of that amendment would allow voters in the 50 states to weigh in, as the founders intended, to make the ultimate determination of whether the federal government should be required to balance its budget.

By transferring the authority of Congress to determine spending and borrowing levels to the Executive branch, it turns on its head the very separation of powers that lies at the heart of our Constitution.  Such a plan also virtually guarantees three separate debt increases, with little likelihood of passing necessary spending reforms. This is tantamount to unilateral surrender and abdication of responsibility.  It is precisely the kind of Washington gimmick that the public distrusts. Furthermore, it fails to achieve the permanent solution to overspending and borrowing that current circumstances demand.

We cannot accept granting President Obama $2.5 trillion in new debt with no enforceable reform requirements.  Doing so is not in America’s best interest and would increase the possibility of an even more serious debt crisis.

The time for half measures and secret negotiations has ended.  We urge you to immediately throw your support behind S. 1340, the “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act” introduced last week by Senators Paul, Toomey and Lee, which had 18 Senate cosponsors on introduction.  We urge Speaker Boehner to support companion legislation in the House as soon as possible.  These measures include substantial cuts, a statutory spending cap, and a debt limit increase that would only take effect once a balanced budget amendment has been passed and sent to the states. Unlike the proposal made today, such legislation would satisfy the public's demand for permanent reform and an end to reckless borrowing and overspending.


The Members of the Cut, Cap, Balance Coalition  (Full list at Not every Member has had the opportunity to expressly approve this letter.)

cc: The Honorable John Boehner

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