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Huelskamp assesses debt ceiling, Boehner


U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, who has recently made national headlines in his political battles with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was in the Statehouse on Monday where he used to serve as a state legislator.

U.S. Rep. Tim Hueslkamp, R-Fowler, (center) visited the Statehouse on Monday.

U.S. Rep. Tim Hueslkamp, R-Fowler, (center) visited the Statehouse on Monday. by Scott Rothschild

Huelskamp, who represents the Big First, which goes from the western Kansas border all the way to Manhattan and Emporia, took questions about getting removed from the House Agriculture Committee and upcoming battles over raising the debt ceiling.

Asked if there could be a government shutdown if Congress and President Barack Obama fail to agree on a plan to raise the federal government's borrowing limit, Huelskamp said, "There certainly could be if folks aren't serious about the problem."

Huelskamp said Congress needs to adopt something similar to the so-called "cap, cut and balance" plan that he and other tea party-backed Republicans put together in 2011. The plan included large spending cuts and adoption by Congress of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. Obama had said he would veto that plan if it ever landed on his desk.

Huelskamp said House Republicans will meet for a private retreat Wednesday through Friday to come up with strategies and proposals in tax and budget fights.

He said conservatives are upset about the direction of the House and that Speaker Boehner needs to come up with a plan. "The onus is on him to produce good Republican legislation," Huelskamp said.

Last month, the Republican Steering Committee, chaired by Boehner, removed several Republicans, who occasionally bucked leaders, from their committees, including Huelskamp from the Ag Committee.

Huelskamp said he was removed because of his staunchly conservative views. Boehner's office has denied this. Politico reported that one conservative close to party leaders said Huelskamp and the others were removed because they didn't work well with other members.

Huelskamp, whose district is dominated by agriculture, said that while he would prefer to keep his place on the committee, he can work on ag issues in other ways, including his membership on the House Small Business Committee.

Huelskamp was among 12 House Republicans who either abstained or voted against re-electing Boehner as speaker. During the House vote, a photograph published by Politico showed Huelskamp working on an iPad with a document on the screen that had the names of representatives that he hoped would oppose Boehner.

Asked if his run-ins with Boehner could hurt Kansas, Huelskamp said, "If the speaker would like to be petty and vindictive, I mean he might try to do that, but media like yourself are watching very closely, looking for those kinds of things, and we'll be reporting if we think he's punishing Kansas because he doesn't like what people say."


Armstrong 1 year, 3 months ago

Good thing America isn't a business, creditors would have pulled the plug long ago.


Centerville 1 year, 3 months ago

There's no budget debate because for the fourth year in a row, the Senate doesn't have one, and the White House just announced it won't be submitting one, either.


donttreadonme 1 year, 3 months ago

I see the simpletons of the right don't understand that the debt ceiling needs to be raised to cover expenses already accrued.

It's like saying you can't pay your bills because you don't have any more money. If you do that, your credit score tanks, which is why the USA credit was downgraded last time.

Maybe the GOP should make their arguments about spending in the BUDGET debate, before it gets spent.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 3 months ago

There is enough coming into the treasury according to reports to pay the interest on the debt and our other obligations. This would, according to reports keep the credit rating we have in place. The debt ceiling only needs to be raised to cover all the pork added to the legislation to secure votes for passage. This does not do us much good and our children no good.

If you young ones want to have nothing when you get old...just keep going down the path we are on.


Richard Payton 1 year, 3 months ago

In 2027 the debt could reach 27 trillion which about half of this would cover entitlements and interest payments.


rockchalk1977 1 year, 3 months ago

In 2006, Obama voted against increasing the ceiling saying... "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better." Yes we do.


Left_of_Lawrence 1 year, 3 months ago

The Debt Ceiling is completely the responsibility of Congress. Congress needs to raise the ceiling to pay for legislation and programs ALREADY passes by Congress.

To go to Congress and have an entire list of things that you won't compromise on, at all, not an inch, is Un-American.

I just think that "little" Timmy doesn't play well with others.


Paul R Getto 1 year, 3 months ago

Tiny Tim. He's driving the Kansas Klown Kar now.


MacHeath 1 year, 3 months ago

Huelskamp and his ilk are destroying the GOP tearing it down, bit by bit. Huelskamp has the gall to call others petty and vindictive? The man is the very picture of petty and vindictive.


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