J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, July 19, 2011.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, July 19, 2011. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
While Speaker John Boehner demanded, indelicately, that his House Republican troops get in line behind his debt-ceiling plan, some are still refusing to.
Just how many in his conference won't vote Thursday on the House floor for his proposal to cut $1 trillion from federal deficits over ten years, explains why it's still unclear whether his plan will pass.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a second-term Utah Republican and author of the "Cut, Cap and Balance," legislation is one Republican who says he's certain how he's going to vote and that's no, he told Steve Inskeep, co-host of Morning Edition in an interview aired Thursday.
"I am a no vote. I really truly worry that the debt is one of the single greatest threats to the United States of America. That we're talking about a problem that is multitrillion (dollars) in its depth and I think we ought to be cutting more. I just don't think it goes far enough."
Even after Boehner went back to revise his plan to frontload more cuts, raising the first-year amount to $22 billion from $5 billion, Chaffetz isn't biting.
"What I really worry about is the first year number which looks like it will come in at around $22 billion. When you're upside down roughly $1.4 trillion and you're going to cut $22 billion, I just worry that's not enough."
By way of his explaining why he won't be voting with Boehner Thursday, Chaffetz underscored the speaker's larger problem in his conference.
While a lot of those poised to vote against his plan have nothing against him personally, they're not driven by the practical power politics of Washington, the need to show solidarity with him in order to improve his bargaining position with Senate Democrats and President Obama.
Instead, they see themselves as placing their loyalties elsewhere.
I personally have to do what I believe is right for the country. I didn't go here to just go along to get along. Those types of arguments about 'Get behind me" are not as persuasive as, so when I saw the speaker, he kind of looked at me like 'Hey, where are you at?' and I said 'Look, I support you personally but I just don't support this bill.' "