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The conservative group Club For Growth derided Speaker John Boehner Monday over his latest fiscal cliff offer, attacking the House Republican leader for offering concessions on raising tax rates and the debt ceiling. “First Speaker Boehner offered to raise tax rates after promising not to, and now he’s offering to raise the debt ceiling. Raising tax rates is anti-growth and raising the debt ceiling is pro-government growth – and this is the Republican position?” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement.
Chocola’s reaction reflects a growing criticism of Boehner among grassroots Republican activists who feel that the Speaker has abandoned conservative principles in his negotiations with President Barack Obama over the fiscal cliff.
The complaints, which began with Boehner’s decision to “purge” four conservative congressmen from top House committees, reached a new level of panic this weekend with the news that Boehner has offered to let tax rates rise for millionaires.
But what really pushed Club for Growth over the edge was last night’s Washington Post report that said Boehner is willing to take the debt ceiling off the table.
“Raising the debt ceiling would give away one of the best tools the Republicans have in their arsenal to force real reform,” Chocola said in his statement. “The debt ceiling is the only mechanism in law that can restrain spending and hitting it forces Washington to confront its spending problem. Raising the debt limit again simply kicks the can down the road. Instead of raising the debt ceiling, the Republicans should use it to force President Obama and the Democrats to accept structural reforms to entitlements, which are the drivers of our debt.”
“Our nation can’t afford to keep its addiction to spending another year. Ignoring our spending problem is to ignore reality.”