In another sign that momentum is gaining in the House for the so-called Boehner Bill, Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., took to the House floor today to announce his support for the latest version of the Republican attempt to raise the debt ceiling.
Conservative critics of the Boehner Bill, such as Sen. Jim Demint, R-S.C., want more significant spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment, as outlined in the “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan. But while Stutzman allows that the current bill is “far from” perfect, he explains his support for the Speaker’s legislation by saying that “the alternatives are too scary to comprehend.”
Stutzman holds a seat on the Budget Committee and serves as Deputy Republican Whip, but was also one of the original Tea Party candidates who enjoyed DeMint's backing. He ran as a conservative upstart against Dan Coats for Senate in 2010. After losing to Coats in the primary, Stutzman ran for an open House seat in a special election and won.
The tension between party leadership and his grassroots support are evident out in Stutzman's statement, as he spent more time to defending the Tea Party than praising the Boehner bill. After extolling the Tea Party's role in pushing the debt-ceiling debate in the right direction, Stutzman seemed to take a shot at Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others who have mocked Tea Partiers during this debate.
“Call them Hobbits, call them what you like. I call the Tea Party, and others who wish to fight to get this country on a proper fiscal trajectory, true Patriots.”