Freshmen politicians bemoaned the final articles of legislation that passed in the waning days of the lame duck session of Congress, including the tax cut deal that opponents assert continues billions of dollars in deficit spending. They targeted the bill as an example of Washington’s culture of spending.
Newly-elected officials warn that nothing is sacred, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
“It’s time to once and for all…stop perpetually spending money we don’t have and sending the bill to unborn generations of Americans,” declared Senator-elect Mike Lee of Utah on Fox News Sunday.
Specifically addressing the tax package, Lee observed:
It certainly is disturbing that we have to add an additional trillion dollars to our debt in order to preserve tax cuts without which our economy couldn’t survive right now. Congress has long abused the authority to incur debt in the name of the United States. And we need to restrict that.
Similarly, incoming GOP congressman Allen West of Florida has referred to Washington’s spending sprees as “insurmountable.” Also appearing on Fox News Sunday, West indicated a greater need to foster private-sector job growth. He called the $858 billion tax package a means to “create more victims and make people dependent on the government.”
West contends that Washington officials need spending caps and should be forced to address entitlement programs that are creating overwhelming deficits.
Assuring concerned Americans, Senator-elect Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said, “Nobody is talking about making it go away. We’re talking about changing the structure.”
While the Tea Party officials may have big ideas, the likelihood of seeing the dreams come to fruition may be hampered by a lack of bipartisan support.
Fox News explains,
Republican leaders can probably count on most incoming Tea Partiers to back early priorities like voting to repeal the health care law — though that effort will almost certainly be stymied by a presidential veto in the off-chance that it clears both chambers. But on some other tricky subjects, they could be a bit of a wild card.
Still, Republican Representative Michele Bachmann told CBS’ Face the Nation that she is currently gathering signatures on a petition to urge Congress to vote against raising the debt ceiling any further. She is joined by a number of Tea Party-elected officials, including Toomey, Lee, Florida’s Marco Rubio, and Kentucky’s Rand Paul (above left).
The White House insists that a failure to raise the debt ceiling would bring the nation into an economic crisis worse than that seen in 2008. Opponents to further increase the debt ceiling contend that Washington should simply stop spending money it does not have.
Some Republicans appear willing to compromise, however, including Allen West, who claims that he would vote in favor of a debt ceiling increase under certain conditions, including proposed spending caps.