Debt Ceiling Issue Not Going Away for Long, Even if Deal Reached

Elisabeth Meinecke
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Posted: Jul 20, 2011 8:30 PM

So far, it sounds like House members have not yet been updated by GOP leadership on what transpired at the Wednesday evening meeting between the president and Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor on debt ceiling negotiations.

GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, however, is still speaking out in support of the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act that the GOP offered yesterday as terms on which a deal to raise the debt ceiling could be reached. The act, which Goodlatte said received "overwhelmingly" positive feedback from his constituents, requires passage of a balanced budget amendment through Congress and that amendment sent to the states for ratification in order to raise the debt ceiling.

Even should that happen, however, Goodlatte says the issue of the debt ceiling will probably be back again. The act requires a balanced budget two years following ratification of the amendment by the states -- which would theoretically take seven years, Goodlatte estimates, looking at past history. That means even should the balanced budget amendment garner the needed two-thirds majority to pass Congress and be sent to the states, it would be nine years before a balanced budget was required by law.

Goodlatte said, however, that the debt ceiling issue resurfacing in the future should be looked at as an opportunity to exact more cuts, instead of just the routine raise it has historically been until now. He also said that in the next two weeks, Congress needs to get the American people focused on the fact that something they strongly believe in -- a balanced budget amendment -- is a real part of the process.

Goodlatte also said that, while he believes Senate GOP and House GOP leadership have over a long period of time been in good communication, the current Senate GOP plan for raising the debt ceiling -- referred to as the McConnell proposal -- "has not been well-received in the House," but acknowledged the difficulty the Senate GOP faces in being the minority party in that body.

Meanwhile, he'll continue to vote for the leanest budget option presented.

"I always vote for the tightest budget offered every year," he said.