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Republicans believe it’s time to take the offense

by Adam Russett on July 15, 2011

Freshman Representative Tim Scott (R-S.C.) may have characterized the Republican's new approach to the ongoing debt ceiling wars between the White House, the House and the Senate when he said that he believed it's "time to go on the offense." 

The comments come at a time when the Republicans are trying to push through legislation that almost has no chance of being passed by the Democrat-controlled Senate. The bill mandates spending cuts, a cap on federal spending and emphasizes the need to balance the budget.

Politico labeled the vote as more "symbolic" than anything else, as it could just be a maneuver to garner support from the Republican base. In fact, some believe that it is simply a way to give conservatives ammunition against their ideological opponents when they are lambasted for loitering on the floor.

"They've been unwilling to put a real plan on the table," Boehner said in a news conference after the GOP meeting. "Without serious spending cuts … this problem is not going to be solved."

The accusation that there is no alternative plan may surprise the bipartisan negotiators who are furiously drafting an acceptable budget under the guidance of Vice President Joe Biden, or the majority of Democrats who advocate both spending cuts and tax increases.

The true bone of contention is that the Republicans disagree that there should be higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, although their view appears to be in the minority. A recent Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans agree that there should be a mix of cuts and tax increases in order to trim the deficit and extend the debt ceiling.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poor's estimates that there is a 50 percent chance that it will downgrade the credit rating of U.S. debt within 90 days – even if an agreement on the debt ceiling is reached. 

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