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John McCain criticizes Tea Party

by Adam Russett on July 28, 2011

The debate over the debt ceiling has certainly strained the already-tenuous relationship between Democrats and Republicans, but it is also causing a stir within the GOP. The frustration of some Republican members with their more conservative colleagues was recently typified in a speech by Arizona Senator John McCain, MSNBC reports.

The speech comes after McCain voiced his support for the John Boehner-created bill that has been opposed by some of the more conservative members of Congress. Boehner has proposed a bill that would temporarily raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion, but would require that the debate be re-opened in just a matter of months.

Despite the support from numerous republicans, some Tea Partiers have refused to accept the deal and have indicated that they would rather see the U.S. default on August 2 as a way to facilitate deep entitlement and spending reforms. This kind of thinking, McCain says, is dangerous.

"The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the Tea Party hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor," McCain said in his speech."

Despite his harsh words, in true McCain fashion he later stepped back from them on Fox News when he praised the Tea Party for giving republicans the majority in the House of Representatives.

A major sticking point for the far-right division of the GOP has been the amendment to the Constitution that would require Congress create a balanced budget. The provision was attached to the so-called Cut, Cap and Balance bill that passed the House, but not the Senate.

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