Today the Senate voted to table the "Cut Cap Balance" Act, which the GOP-led House had approved on Tuesday.
"Voting to table" is Congress-speak for "we're too chicken to deal with this, so we're voting to sweep it under the rug." What exactly scares the Senate so badly about this bill that they don't even want to debate it?
I was proud to watch my Senator, Marco Rubio, speak eloquently in favor of the Cut, Cap, Balance Act, and then vote against tabling the bill. Earlier this evening, Rubio released a video statement about his disappointment in the vote, stating:
The President hasn't offered a plan...the Senate Democrats haven't offered a plan...in fact, the only plan out there that does anything about it, that raises the debt limit but puts in place a plan to deal with the debt was Cut, Cap, and Balance, and it passed in the House, and it came over to the Senate, and the Senate Democrats wouldn't even let us vote on it...
Florida's other Senator, Bill Nelson (aka Mr. Space Mosquito) had campaigned on a balanced budget platform but ducked the chance to actually vote on balanced budget bill today. Nelson has been playing this "liberal wolf in moderate's sheep clothing" game far too long. Once again, he had the chance to show some backbone but instead he just meekly followed the Obama-Reid agenda.
Now, let's look at the Florida Senate race. These candidates want the chance to vote on our national debt issues, so what do they have to say about Cut, Cap, and Balance? It's quite an interesting contrast.
Adam Hasner was the first Senate candidate in the country to sign the Cut Cap Balance Pledge, was the first Florida Senate candidate to speak out in favor of the Ryan Plan, and has long been an advocate for a balanced budget amendment. It's this unwavering support for fiscal conservatism that has earned Hasner endorsements from FreedomWorks and many other prominent conservatives [including Erick Erickson].
Hasner's opinion on the debt issues is well-established: he's been very vocal for years and consistent in his positions, laughing off attempts by those on the left and in the media to paint him as an "extremist." (Why not wanting to drive our country off the economic cliff is an "extremist" idea is beyond me, but I digress...)
Contrast that with George LeMieux. True, he did sign the Cut Cap Balance Pledge, but only after Hasner and former candidate Mike Haridopolos already stepped forward. LeMieux often touts his record during the few months he served in the Senate after being appointed by Governor Oompa-Loompa, but his spending record isn't as strong as he portrays it to be, and the years he steered the Charlie Crist ship still loom large in the minds of many Republican voters.
Interestingly, the very week that Congress was voting on the Cut, Cap, Balance Act, the campaign finance reports were released, further drawing into question where LeMieux's loyalties truly lie.
About a month ago, a group of LeMieux's former Senate colleagues held a fundraiser for him, and the host committee list read like a "RINO Who's Who" list: John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, etc. Now that the campaign finance information is public, we can see that LeMieux raised nearly $50,000 from PACs run by Senators, as the Miami Herald has reported.
That's a lot of money from a lot of moderates, including all three of the Republican members of the "Gang of Six," whose proposed deal is viewed by most conservatives as conceding way too much ground to the Democrats and not even coming close to adequately addressing our spending and debt issues.
All these factors combine to paint a picture that is leading many to doubt that LeMieux's professed conservatism is anything more than hot air. Saying you support a balanced budget is easy; it's just words. When it comes down to actual votes, can we really trust George LeMieux to stand firm against both the Democrats and the Republican leadership? Or will he revert back to the mushy moderate middle where he was so comfortable for all the Charlie Crist years?
There's a Latin saying, "Fortes fortuna juvat," which means "Fortune favors the bold." The phrase dates back to ancient Rome and remains popular today among military groups around the world.
In an era when our national debt is $14.5 trillion and growing, isn't it time we looked for bold solutions? We cannot climb out of this hole with empty gestures and vague rhetoric; we must have real and significant cuts and spending reform.
I was proud to support Marco Rubio's Senate campaign from the very beginning, and I continue to be proud of his strong, bold stances on our debt and spending issues.
In 2012, I am seeking another candidate who we can send to Washington and will also be bold in tackling our debt.
Fortes fortuna juvat.
Fortune favors the bold, and Floridians should favor Adam Hasner.