Rand Paul slams House GOP leaders over debt ceiling

Rand Paul

The House of Representatives will vote today on a three-month extension of the nation’s debt limit, which the White House has said President Obama would sign. While there will be some dissent from conservative members, the vote shows that House Republicans have completely caved to the White House.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who is thought to be a potential candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, sharply criticized House Republican leadership during a speech in South Carolina on Monday, according to Politico:

In remarks to the Charleston Meeting, a gathering of conservative leaders in the first-in-the-South presidential primary state, Paul rebuked the House for its plans to delay the debt limit fight by a few months. Republicans intend to vote this week on raising the country’s statutory debt limit to delay a spending standoff with the White House by about three months.

“I saw the speaker on TV handing the newly sworn-in president a flag. I am afraid it was the white flag of surrender,” the Kentucky Republican said, according to a GOP source present at the meeting.

Alluding to the House GOP’s gathering last week in Williamsburg, Va., Paul jabbed: “They came out of their retreat and retreated.”

And sadly, it seems that Republicans are going to cave on spending. During an interview with Neil Cavuto on Monday, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) pointed out that House Republican leadership wants to fight on sequestration. This is a peculiar position to take since, as Rep. McClintock notes, sequestration cuts are automatic and don’t require any action by Congress for them to go into effect. This leads him to believe that “they’re planning on bargaining even the sequestration reductions.”

The point that the House Republicans are in a tough spot politically is well taken. No one is arguing otherwise. But with their caving to Obama on the debt ceiling, with absolutely nothing to show for it, and what seems to be a sketchy strategy on spending; it just doesn’t seem like there is coherent message coming from GOP leaders right now.

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