Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell endorses Boehner debt bill

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who has worried publicly that a downgrade of U.S. bonds might lead to a similar downgrade of Virginia’s bonds, said Thursday that he backed the debt-ceiling bill proposed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Some conservative groups have said the Boehner bill does not go far enough, and ex-Sen. George Allen (R) — who is running to succeed retiring Sen. James Webb (D) — takes that position. Most, if not all, of Virginia’s Republican congressional delegation is expected to vote for the Boehner bill Thursday evening, though Rep. Morgan Griffith is reportedly undecided.

“It it critical that the United States Congress immediately pass the best possible bill that will resolve the ongoing debt limit impasse,” McDonnell said in a release issued by his office.

“It would be catastrophic for the United States, and for Virginia, if we defaulted on our obligations. For far too long, Congress has overspent and now the bills are due. Washington must start doing what governors are doing around the country – making serious cuts to get their fiscal houses in order. Speaker Boehner’s bill cuts spending, doesn’t raise taxes and ensures that we do not default on our debt. I urge the members of Congress, including Virginia’s delegation, to vote in support of this measure.”

McDonnell said last week he was “furious” at the possibility that Virginia’s bonds might be downgraded, and he urged Congress to strike a compromise. Though he never called for tax increases, as President Obama and some other Democrats have, McDonnell still took some flak from conservatives who suggested he might be caving on conservative principles.

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