I thought this was an interesting line of attack from the Montana Democratic Party. Yesterday, the majority party Republican legislators from Montana sent a letter to Montana’s Congressional delegation urging them to support a balanced budget amendment. The move was hardly unprecedented given the fact that Montana law requires the state legislature and the Governor to balance the state budget. This requirement has prevented Montana from amassing large budget deficits.
Yet, even though Montana law and the Montana Constitution contain provisions that require a balanced budget, Montana Democrats decided to attack the GOP for calling for passage of a balanced budget amendment at the national level. (Especially, as I noted yesterday, even Missoula Independent columnist George Ochenski is backing a balanced budget amendment.)
Here’s an excerpt of the Montana Democratic Party’s press release:
Extremist Republican Legislators Advise Rehberg on Economy…Congressman in Lockstep with Extremist Republicans who Signed “Balanced Budget” Letter
“This letter shows Congressman Rehberg is relying on some extreme voices for advice,” said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Montana had a balanced budget before Republican legislators launched job-killing attacks on women’s health services and education. Now they’re trying to export their brand of extremism to Washington DC, via Congressman Rehberg.”
The Missoulian added this:
Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg thanked the GOP legislators for their letter, noting he has long supported such an amendment as a congressman.
“It’s not surprising that Montana’s Legislature supports a federal balanced budget requirement,” said Rehberg, who’s running for the Senate in 2012. “They represent the same Montanans that I do.”
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., supports a balanced budget amendment in theory, but “as with everything, the devil is in the details,” his campaign manager, Preston Elliott, said. Tester opposes the amendment backed by Rehberg.
The latest on the debt talks from The Washington Times:
Mr. Obama’s 15-minute speech — in which he used the word “compromise” six times — came three days after Mr. Boehner said he was walking away from talks with the president, and would instead negotiate directly with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.
Those talks have produced two different plans: House Republicans‘ proposal to increase the debt ceiling by $1 trillion, cut discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion and arrange a committee to propose up to $1.8 trillion in future deficit reduction; and Senate Democrats’ plan to raise the debt limit by $2.7 trillion, accompanied by an equal amount of reductions in future spending.
Mr. Obama, who has yet to offer a public plan of his own, told viewers Monday he “won’t bore you with the details of every plan or proposal.” Instead, he said both parties share the same broad goals, but said Republicans are blocking progress by defending lower taxes and spending cuts.
I guess we shouldn’t hold our breath for the details?