Will Remaining Blue Dogs Heel to Party Leaders?

November 16, 2011

Will Remaining Blue Dogs Heel to Party Leaders?
With Four of their Fellow Coalition Members Supporting the BBA, the Remaining Blue Dogs are Feeling the Pressure

WASHINGTON—With the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) set to reach the floor later this week, the vanishing Blue Dog breed must make a tough decision: continue to double down on spending beyond the government’s means as their party leaders want them to do or give in to political pressure from their constituents and vote for the BBA.

“With Democrat leaders pleading for more spending, but several Blue Dogs pledging support for the Balanced Budget Amendment, supposed ‘moderate’ Heath Shuler is feeling the heat from every direction now,” said NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay. “Shuler has to decide whether he will finally choose to do what his constituents want and the American economy needs or whether he’ll continue to give in to his Democrat party leaders’ excessive spending habits.”

Four lonely Blue Dogs already gave in to political pressure and finally joined 74 percent of Americans who support a Balanced Budget Amendment:

“Democratic Reps. Mike McIntrye (N.C.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Jim Costa (Calif.), and Jason Altmire (Penn.) – all members of the right-leaning Blue Dog Coalition – joined the announcement to show their support.” (Mike Lillis, “Hoyer explains flip on balanced budget amendment as showing consistency,” The Hill, 11/15/2011)

House Democrats’ priorities are wildly out of step with American voters, who support a balanced budget amendment 74 percent to 24 percent. (CNN|ORC Poll, 7/21/11)

But Party leaders, including President Obama, have asked House Democrats to double down on their excessive spending and borrowing and continue to recklessly spend taxpayer dollars with no restraint:

“I strongly oppose Republicans’ proposed balanced budget amendment, and I will be whipping against it.” (“Hoyer Statement on Republicans’ Balanced Budget Amendment,” The Office of Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, 7/13/2011)
“The White House, in a statement, said it strongly opposed the balanced budget amendment being considered by the House.” (“White House opposes balanced-budget amendment heading for House vote,” Associated Press, 11/15/2011)
“House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) on Monday urged House Democrats to vote against a balanced-budget amendment that is coming to the floor this week.” (Erik Wasson, “Van Hollen urges ‘no’ vote on balanced-budget amendment,” The Hill, 11/14/2011)

With North Carolina families wanting Washington to stop spending money they don’t have more than ever now, Heath Shuler will have a tough time voting against a responsible, bipartisan plan to force Washington to live with its means. Is Shuler ready to rid Washington of its reckless spending habits or will he prove hopelessly addicted to his limitless credit card and his partisan leaders?