The Corner

Activist: Bachmann Consistent with Pledge

On Tuesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) voted against the “cut, cap, and balance” bill, despite signing the corresponding pledge two days before.

But Colin Hanna, president of the tea-party group Let Freedom Ring, sees no inconsistency.

“The pledge does not obligate a signer to vote for a debt-ceiling increase even if it meets all three conditions of the pledge,” Hanna tells National Review Online. “It simply states that absent all three conditions, the signer pledges not to vote for a debt increase.”

Indeed, the pledge reads, “I pledge to urge my Senators and Member of the House of Representatives to oppose any debt limit increase unless all three of the following conditions have been met.” (Emphasis added.) It does not require a signer to urge a vote for a debt-limit increase — even with its conditions met.

Hanna concedes, however, that Bachmann’s promise to vote against any increase in the debt ceiling is problematic: “I believe the position that one should not support a debt-ceiling increase for any reason is untenable. But I understand that position, I respect that position, and many of those who hold it, I think, are coming to the realization that theirs is an untenable position even though it’s at the same time a principled one. I think there is gradual recognition that the only principled, workable solution is ‘cut, cap, and balance.’”

Asked about the Senate’s vote to table the plan this morning, Hanna remains somewhat optimistic: “I’d point out that a vote to table does not end the debate or settle the question for this year. It may well come back in another form — with maybe a tweak here or there.”

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