Out of South Carolina’s eight members of Congress (two senators and six representatives), only Democrat Jim Clyburn voted in favor of the debt-limit deal that President Obama signed Tuesday.
“Though this was not necessarily a good deal, it was not a bad deal,” Clyburn said Tuesday, “But the fact of the matter is it is now a done deal.”
His Republican counterparts disagreed. “We ended up with a much weaker deal,” 1st District Congressman Tim Scott told SCRN, “Both sides can simply look at it and have some things they can celebrate and a lot of things that they’re both disappointed in. It does not take us far enough down the road where we are actually solving the problem.”
Scott joined Congressmen Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, and Mick Mulvaney in voting against the deal in the House. Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham also opposed it.
Scott and 5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney both maintained the August 2 deadline was not as critical as many maintained. “Was it coincidence that it was the week before our big summer recess or was it politically motivated?” Mulvaney asked, “We’ve come to find it probably was politically motivated.” He said Barclay’s and Wells Fargo reports both indicated the country would not reach its limit until at least August 10.
The partisan fight is far from over, however. As part of this week’s deal, a twelve-member committee will begin meeting to identify ways to trim an additional $1.5 trillion off the deficit over the next 10 years. President Obama said Tuesday he expects tax revenue increases to be on the table for that committee. Republicans have said they will not support any plan that causes tax rates to go up.
Clyburn said the issue is over the definition of a tax increase, “I don’t want to see the rates go up, either. I would love to see the rates go down,” he said, “But I think we need to close up these loopholes. We should not be giving subsidies to oil companies that (are) making unheard of profits. We should take a hard look at these agriculture subsidies and the like. ”
Republicans say they also support tax reform, but Mulvaney warned against simply eliminating loopholes. “Everybody says, ‘Oh I hate loopholes, we’ve got to get rid of them,'” he said, “The mortgage interest deduction on your house is a loophole. The charitable interest deduction that you take when you give to your church is a loophole.”
Scott acknowledged GOP leaders are not happy with the 5 members of the South Carolina House delegation. “Anytime you take a vote and only 22 members of your conference are on the side that says no, it doesn’t necessarily ingratiate you to the other members,” he said.