Lee Opposes McConnell Debt Ceiling Plan

(KCPW News) Republican Utah Senator Mike Lee says he’s willing to support raising the debt ceiling… under three conditions. The first is mandated cuts in domestic discretionary spending for fiscal year 2012, which includes items like education, healthcare, housing and the environment, spending caps, and a balanced budget amendment. He says the Cut, Cap and Balance Act is a demonstration that Republicans are willing to address the issue.

“Republicans acknowledge that spending commitments have been made, and that it is difficult as many people point out to bring all federal spending to an abrupt halt or at least immediately bring the spending down from $3.7 trillion annually to roughly $2.2 trillion annually,” he told reporters yesterday. “It’s difficult to turn that ship around on a dime.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed Tuesday to give the president the power to raise the debt ceiling, essentially putting the expected backlash on President Obama, but also allowing lawmakers to vote against the increase. Senator Lee, however, says he won’t play that game.

“The card of raising the debt limit without the conditions I’ve identified and most importantly without the condition of a balanced budget amendment being passed out of Congress is not a card that I am ever willing to play,” said Lee. “Not now. Not later. Not as a backup. Not as an initial plan.”

Lee says no Democrats have signed onto to the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, but he’s confident they’re taking it into consideration.