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Congressional Insiders Poll: Will Spending Caps, Entitlement Reforms be Attached to Debt-Limit Increase? Congressional Insiders Poll: Will Spending Caps, Entitlement Reforms b...

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Congressional Insiders Poll

Congressional Insiders Poll: Will Spending Caps, Entitlement Reforms be Attached to Debt-Limit Increase?

Plus: Who gained the most from the CR deal?

Do you think that significant spending caps and entitlement reforms will be attached to the debt-limit increase?

Democrats (31 votes)

Yes: 48%
No: 39%
Depends, don’t know (volunteered): 13%

 

Yes

“Unless President Obama stands up and fights back to protect his health care reform and the Democratic legacy.”

“I think something like the Bowles-Simpson proposal will have to be adopted before we’re able to pass a debt-ceiling increase.”

 

“Obama has shown he will not fight and cannot negotiate.”

“Senior GOP House members have said [that] the only way they’ll vote to raise the ceiling is with caps and reforms, but it’s not something the American people are behind.”

“The GOP will not vote without it.”

“Since Obama wouldn’t stand up to Republicans over issues like the tax cuts and budget negotiations that, compared to a default, are rather piddling, the Republicans have all the leverage here. Without a change in the current dynamic, [House Speaker John] Boehner will essentially decide how much he can put on this thing, and Obama will take it.”

 

“Do I support that? No!”

“Republicans have already proven that Obama will do hostage nego­tiations with tea party terrorists and give up his priorities as a result.”

“I think something will be attached. The Republicans would add cuts to a vote on approving the journal, if they could.”

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No

“Republicans will attempt to attach conditions, but a fuller budget settlement will require a different process and more time.”

Depends, don’t know

“Won’t pass if bells and whistles [are] added—it may not pass without them.”

“Certainly, the Republicans will try, but it should be a clean bill.”

“Too early to tell.”

“It is foolish to play chicken with America’s credibility on the world financial stage. All would agree—keep partisan issues out of debt-limit operations.”

 

Do you think that significant spending caps and entitlement reforms will be attached to the debt-limit increase?

Republicans (32 votes)

Yes: 91%
No: 9%

Yes

“It is the only way it will pass.”

“There’s no way to get the support of our conference without them.”

“Americans won’t tolerate an increase in the debt limit without real spending cuts and budget reforms.”

“Both sides actually agree on the need for spending caps, so that should be easy. Entitlement reform is tougher, but there must be something, as well as a balanced-budget vote in the Senate.”

“Entitlements are driving factors behind our $14 trillion deficit.”

“A ‘clean’ debt-limit increase is too much of a nonstarter for too many that there will simply have to be spending caps and reforms attached. This is the fight to be having, and it will be a big one—as the rhetoric has already been ramping up.”

“If spending caps and entitlement reforms aren’t included in the debt-limit increase, it won’t pass!”

“I think significant reforms are imperative. Failing to act by coupling structural changes to the debt-limit vote would be a missed opportunity.”

“Obama needs to get in front of the parade again, and he sees entitlement reforms as his reelect vehicle.”

“Spending caps are a must. As a parent, if my child irresponsibly maxed out my credit card, I would pay the bill. But I would also cut up the credit card to make sure it couldn’t happen again.”

“At some point, he has to get off the campaign bus and govern.”

“If there aren’t, it won’t pass the House.”

 

Who do you think gained the most from the deal on the continuing resolution?

Democrats (31 votes)

John Boehner: 42%
President Obama: 26%
Neither: 26%

Also receiving votes: Big Oil, 3%; both, 3%.

Boehner

“Boehner’s probably asking himself how much more he could have gotten if he started at an even higher levels of cuts, given Obama’s unwillingness to stand up to Republican bullying tactics. Answer: probably 80 percent of whatever he asked for.”

“He now fully controls the debate topic, large cuts and only large cuts. He got more than he originally sought. He began the process of limiting the tea party members.”

“He is setting the agenda, and Obama looks weak.”

“Boehner was beholden to his right wing, and he was able to use their threats to extract concessions from his negotiating partners. But this will pose difficulties for him, as well as for us, long term.”

This article appears in the April 16, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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