This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Washington• Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee were among six Republicans to vote with the Democrats to kill the bill championed by House Speaker John Boehner to avert the debt limit crisis.
They argued that Boehner's bill didn't go far enough in cutting spending now and were not swayed by the addition of a requirement that Congress approve a balanced budget before the government could borrow any new money in 2012.
Both men signed the GOP's "cut, cap, balance" pledge that precluded them for voting for any debt limit increase before Congress agreed to a balanced-budget amendment.
"I took the cut, cap, balance pledge because that plan is what this country needs to climb out of this debt crisis that threatens our country's future. And my word is my bond," Hatch said after the 59-41 vote.
The Senate discarded Boehner's plan only two hours after it passed the House on a narrow 218 to 210 margin.
A group of House Republicans, including Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who had complaints similar to that of Hatch and Lee, bucked the speaker on Thursday, forcing him to add the balanced-budget amendment requirement to get the bill through the House.
The only Utahn who supported the Boehner plan was Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, who said it wasn't perfect but it avoided a default and reduced the nation's debt.
"The Republican proposal passed today is an honest, straightforward commitment to reduce spending and hold the line on new taxes and spending," Bishop said.
Chaffetz, who also signed the cut, cap, balanced pledge, didn't see it that way.
He bristled at the section of Boehner's bill that creates a super-committee of Congress that would seek deeper cuts over the next decade.
"The formation of yet another commission to examine the debt crisis is an abdication by Congress of the responsibility to make tough decisions that address long-term problems," Chaffetz said.
No Democrats voted for the bill in the House, and Rep. Jim Matheson's complaint was similar to that of the rest of his colleagues. He disliked that Boehner's plan extended the debt limit only until the end of 2011 before requiring another vote. He said that would keep the market unstable and threatened the nation's credit rating, which, if dropped, would raise interest rates for Americans nationwide.
Senate Democrats will now try to convince Republicans to support their proposal, which would extend the debt limit into 2013 and cut $2.2 trillion in the next decade, before the Aug. 2 deadline.