Deirdre Shesgreen reports:
Last week House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Township, voted in favor of legislation to lift the nation’s borrowing cap with no strings attached, even as the rest of the Cincinnati-area congressional delegation opposed the measure.
Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Westwood, said the measure was “unacceptable to me” because it didn’t include any provisions to cut spending or reduce the deficit. Similarly, Reps. Brad Wenstrup, R-Columbia Tusculum, and Thomas Massie, R-Garrison, Ky., were also “no” votes.
Wenstrup said current spending is “unsustainable” and he could not support the debt ceiling hike.
“We can’t continue spending without any plan to curb our spending addiction and balance our budget,” he said in a statement.
Boehner and other area Republicans agree on a vast array of issues.
But this is not the first time the GOP leader’s congressional neighbors have taken a different position from him.
In January, Boehner was the only “yes” vote among Cincinnati-area lawmakers for a $1.1 trillion spending bill.
He was also the only area lawmaker to support a two-year bipartisan budget deal brokered in December.
And he was the lone “yes” vote to end the partial government shutdown in October.
The delegation split along different lines on another recent issue – the farm bill. Chabot and Wenstrup voted against that five-year, $500 billion farm measure, while Massie voted in favor of it.
Boehner did not cast a vote on that bipartisan deal; by tradition, House speakers rarely vote on day-to-day legislation, only weighing in on major issues.
Chabot said he didn’t fault Boehner for voting “yes.”
“He has a different set of responsibilities than we do as Speaker of the House,” Chabot noted.
Boehner did have plenty of company in the 221 to 201 vote. He was one of 28 Republicans to vote “yes,” including two other GOP leaders. But Democrats provided most of the support, casting 193 of the “yes” votes.