Latham & Boehner, still BFFs?

Shortly after Ohio Congressman John Boehner became House Speaker, there were stories about his inner circle.  The headline on this January 5, 2011 Radio Iowa story was Latham’s Best Friend to become House Speaker today.  Boehner did a brief shout-out to Latham during his first House speech after being elected House Speaker, referring to: “My buddy Latham.”

The headline on today’s Radio Iowa story is Latham, King among Republicans who vote against GOP debt plan.  That would be the plan Boehner put together.

In 2012, Latham faces a tough reelection battle against Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell, as a result of redistricting. Last night, Latham issued a written statement after casting his “no” vote on Boehner’s plan.

WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham released the following statement on Friday after voting against S. 627 in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“Throughout this year, the national discussion has been dominated by the need to change Washington’s spending ways.  I, as many Americans do, fear that this talk is truly just talk.  A good case in point is President Obama’s 2012 budget.  When he introduced this budget he used these strong words, “We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don’t have consequences; as if waste doesn’t matter; as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money; as if we can ignore this challenge for another generation.  We can’t.”  But a review of the President’s budget shows that his words are nothing more than just talk about changing the culture of spending because that budget adds an additional $9.5 trillion dollars to our debt.  

“I have been very clear in our debate about spending that I will only support measures that meet the criteria of immediately cutting wasteful spending, imposing spending caps as a percentage of our economy going forward, and requiring a balanced budget amendment.  We simply can’t keep giving Washington permission in the form of a blank check to continue to spend beyond its means.

“As neither the President nor the Senate have yet to offer one specific proposal, I applaud the House Republican leadership for taking the initiative on the national debt limit and spending restraint debate by actually offering real proposals, discussions and votes in an effort to move this process forward and meet the President’s declared default deadline of August 2nd. 

“Unfortunately, while this measure heads in the right direction, it falls short of the criteria I feel must be met in order to gain my support and vote.

“This bill gives the government permission to continue the destructive spending and borrowing policies that have created waves of uncertainty throughout our economy without the real guarantees we need to force Washington to do as Iowa families, farmers and small businesses do – live and spend within its means.

“I share the growing frustration and anger the American people have over this debate and fractured process.  And I continue to pledge to work with any members of the House or Senate who are willing to join me to move our country forward with a solution that gives the American people the peace of mind of a common-sense, enforceable solution.  This is our responsibility as elected leaders to do nothing short of putting this nation on the path towards fiscal sanity and responsibility without risking default on our debt and other obligations.”