On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, battled Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee.
As the debt-ceiling deadline looms, Jordan emphasized that many House conservatives will not support the McConnell plan, a legislative maneuver proposed by the Senate Republican leader that would enable President Obama to raise the debt ceiling via a presidential veto.
“They’re not going to support the McConnell plan. I’m not going to support the McConnell plan,” Jordan said. “The McConnell plan doesn’t have 218 Republican votes.” He hesitated, however, to say that it would fail in the lower chamber, especially as August 2 approaches. “A combination of R’s and D’s,” he acknowledged, could rally behind the measure.
More broadly, Jordan defended his dogged approach, arguing that the larger debt crisis to come is more than enough reason to take a hardline position this summer. “Everyone understands that in two to three years we’re going to have a debt crisis,” he said. “The big crisis that’s coming, that’s more important than anything that’s happening now.”
Van Hollen, for his part, noted that he is also “not a fan of the Mitch McConnell deal,” that the proposal does “punt” the problem.” But he told Jordan that the RSC’s “cut, cap and balance” legislation was not a viable solution, at least for House Democrats, who are uncomfortable with various provisions attached to the GOP’s balanced-budget amendment. “No one should be fooled by this,” he said. “It’s not going to become law.”