Thursday, July 28, 2011

DEBT CEILING UPDATE, Arizona Perspective: Trying To Reconcile McCain, Flake Comments

Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) made the big political splash last night when he spoke out about the Tea Party influence on the debt ceiling debate.  He decried their insistence on working the Balanced Budget Amendment into the debt ceiling negotiations.

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake (R-CD6) is one of the key players in today's stall out in the House, and he was cited earlier as saying that he thinks the Boehner plan should go down today so that the Senate passes something and the House can then add a balanced budget amendment at the last minute.  The thinking apparently goes that the time would be so short at that point that the Democrats would go ahead and vote for the Balanced Budget Amendment.

Are the senior Senator and the possible-next-junior Senator really going at each other, or can those statements be reconciled?

It would appear to me that Flake may have averted a direct staredown with McCain by probably defining his hope as being for a "clean" balanced budget amendment.  The distinction would be that the House - last week in the Cap/Cut/Balance measure - approved a "dirty" balanced budget amendment.  It is one that included automatic cuts, limits, formulas to force a balanced budget. 

A "clean" version would be one that would only require a balanced budget and would force the Congress to decide how to get there.

I am guessing there is some frustration from both men, but there is certainly room for them to put it behind them.

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