House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) took a step closer to a government shutdown today after failing to reach a budget agreement this morning in a White House meeting with congressional leaders. Though aware that it’d “end up costing more than you’d save,” Boehner is facing considerable pressure from Tea Party activists to cut more federal spending and thus gamble with a shutdown. Right-wing rankling has been so overt that even his deputy, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), has split from Boehner “to bolster his credentials with the tea party as a replacement for Boehner should an insurrection arise against him.”
But while the Tea party movement pushes GOP lawmakers to “take off your lace panties” and cut the promised $100 billion in spending, GOP freshman Rep. Mike Grimm (NY) is scoffing at the proposal. After last month slamming “the extreme wing of the Republican Party” for bowing to “the extreme right of the tea party who would rather see a government shutdown than pass a short-term solution,” Grimm doubled down yesterday. The former FBI agent –who “was propelled into office by Tea Party activists” — said in New Jersey that adopting the Tea Party agenda would mean “shortchanging America“:
Now, Grimm says he supports the basic Tea Party principles of fiscal responsibility while opposing those embracing a shutdown.
“By listening to these groups we would be shortchanging America,” he said.[…]
“The idea that there’s no role for government is ludicrous,” Grimm said. His goal, he said, is “putting government back to its original position, which is limited but should be effective and efficient.”
None-too-pleased Tea Party activists in his district dubbed his earlier word choice “insulting.” And the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation warned that “when you’ve got Tea Party-supported politicians sticking their thumb in the eye of the Tea Party, there will be a price to pay.”