The Obama administration has declared a deadline of August 2 by which the debt ceiling must be raised, but a resolved faction of conservative lawmakers are determined to test their luck by ignoring it. Robert Costa and I report:
Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) are leading the charge in their respective chambers. They both tell National Review Online that if Republicans hold firm, President Obama and Senate Democrats will buckle and pass a balanced-budget amendment.
Jordan, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, which authored “Cut, Cap, and Balance,” a fiscal-reform package that passed the House earlier this week, says that his group is ready to dig in. He acknowledges that two other plans — the one proposed by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), and the one proposed by the bipartisan “Gang of Six” — are gaining steam. Yet as the clock ticks, he is unwilling to deal — or accept doomsday warnings.
“What is irrational about saying that we need to cut spending? What is irrational about saying we need to limit the size of government?” Jordan asks. “There is nothing irrational about that. We have to make the case. You make the case by going to the American people, you let that build, and then you can get Democratic support for something.”