Debt Debate Strains Tea Party-Business Ties

Thursday, 14 Jul 2011 12:50 PM

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The ties between business and the tea party are beginning to fray over the debt limit debate, according to The Washington Post. Tea partyers oppose plans to raise the debt limit, and business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable are pushing hard for it to avoid an economic disaster.

In the center of the debate is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s complex plan to give President Barack Obama authority to raise the debt limit, a plan that the Wall Street Journal editorial board embraces. Republicans fear the dispute will end with a fractured party and base heading into a presidential election year, Aaron Blake wrote in The Fix blog in The Washington Post.

Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah; David Vitter, R-La.; and former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich have criticized McConnell’s plan as a surrender. However, McConnell has support from some GOP leaders and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

McConnell is running out of options and fears that allowing a government default would “give the president an opportunity to blame us for the bad economy,” according to the Post.

“The problem for McConnell is that the tea party wing of the party isn’t all that interested in giving the GOP nominee the best chance in 2012. It wants cuts, first and foremost, and damn the torpedoes. That’s the attitude the tea party was essentially founded on,” Blake wrote.

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