As the U.S. Senate’s most liberal member, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), calls for an increase in the federal debt limit, he is specifically not demanding a vote on the matter be tied to deficit reductions – once again putting him to the left of many of his liberal Democrat Senate colleagues.
As Politico reports this morning, “[Senator Sherrod] Brown sounded open to backing a ‘clean’ debt limit increase, as did fellow in-cycle Democrats Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Ben Cardin of Maryland — but some of their fellow in-cycle Democrats do not, exemplifying the growing divide within their party.”
Brown’s failure to tie a vote on raising the debt limit to a serious deficit reduction plan once again puts him to the left of some of his most liberal Democrat Senate colleagues. As Politico also notes today:
“Now it’s time to have that vote tied in with getting some progress on the long-term debt for the country,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who initially held out her vote in 2010 to increase the debt ceiling until Obama agreed to create a bipartisan fiscal commission. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who faces voters next year, has raised similar concerns. And a number of others who have voted in 2010 for a debt ceiling hike – including Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) – declined to directly say Tuesday if they’ll back the White House on a clean vote this time around.
Notably, Brown’s current demands for a debt limit increase stand in stark contrast to one of the main lines of attack his Washington party bosses used against his opponent, then-U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH), in the 2006 Senate campaign. As Politico’s Ben Smith notes this morning: That year, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee… aired the attack above on Ohio’s Mike DeWine. “Did you know Mike DeWine voted to raise the national debt to $9 trillion?” the ad’s narrator asks puzzled and alarmed Cincinnatians. “Did you know that we’re borrowing $2 billion a day from China and other countries to pay for that?”
CLICK THE SCREENSHOT BELOW TO SEE NATIONAL DEMOCRATS’ ATTACK AD ON BEHALF OF SHERROD BROWN IN 2006:
“Senator Brown’s insistence that we raise the federal debt ceiling without a serious deficit reduction plan is yet another example of how far out-of-step he is with Ohioans,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Chris Bond. “Not only is Sherrod Brown once again standing the far left of a very liberal Democrat Senate caucus, he’s totally contradicting the same campaign rhetoric he used to get elected in 2006. We look forward to hearing Brown explain this hypocrisy to voters.”