Washington, DC, United States (4E) – House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Tuesday that a vote on a bill raising the nation’s $17.2 trillion debt ceiling will go ahead, prompting conservative groups to seek his ouster.
There were not enough rank-and-file Republican members who supported a plan increasing the debt ceiling with the concession of restoring future cuts in the cost-of-living adjustments on military retirement pay leaving him with no option but to let the vote on the clean bill, Boehner told reporters after emerging from a Republican conference. The cuts to military pensions that were enacted in December’s budget deal saved $6 billion.
“We don’t have 218 votes, and when you don’t have 218 votes, you have nothing,” Boehner said, according to The Hill.
The Speaker said he will vote in favor of the clean bill and provide other Republican votes for it to pass. Congress is scheduled to take a two-week recess and the Treasury Department needed borrowing authority by Feb. 27 to prevent the federal government from defaulting on its debts.
Under the clean bill, the debt ceiling is suspended until March 2015.
With Boehner forced to change his stance of putting equal or greater amount in spending cuts if the nation’s borrowing authority is increased, conservatives are up in arms.
The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) said Boehner had sold out too many small government principles and should be ousted from his post.
SCF executive director Matt Hoskins said the group is calling its supporters to sign a petition replacing the Speaker because “he has chosen to ignore us and help President Obama enact his liberal agenda.”
“It’s sad that it has come to this, but enough is enough. We will never stop the massive spending and debt that are destroying our country if the Republican speaker of the House surrenders to the Democrats and stabs conservatives in the back,” Hoskins said, according to Washington Times.
For American, Tea Party Patriots and Freedomworks are also calling for Boehner’s removal from his post.
“A clean debt ceiling is a complete capitulation on the Speaker’s part and demonstrates that he has lost the ability to lead the House of Representatives, let alone his own party,” The Hill quoted Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, as saying. “Speaker Boehner has failed in his duty to represent the people and as a result, it is time for him to go… Fire the Speaker.”
The Club for Growth and Heritage Action said the bill suspending the debt ceiling should not be supported and is irresponsible.