Bachmann still a ‘no’ on Boehner debt plan

Rep. Michele Bachmann praised Republican leaders for advancing a plan to raise the national debt limit Thursday even as she reiterated that she would vote “no” on the proposal.

“I am committed to not raising the debt ceiling,” Bachmann said at a National Press Club luncheon, a few hours before a vote was scheduled to take place on House Speaker John A. Boehner’s bill. “Despite John Boehner’s best efforts, absolutely faithful efforts, to try to put a plan on the table, the problem goes back again to the president’s failure of leadership.”

The Minnesota Republican, who is running for president, repeated her belief that the country will not default on its loans if the debt ceiling is not lifted, despite warnings from the White House, Wall Street economists and bond-rating agencies that the government won’t be able to pay its bills by Aug. 2.

“I don’t believe for a moment we will lose the full faith and credit of the United States,” she said.

Bachmann has previously argued that there would be enough money to make debt service payments, pay members of the military and support entitlements, which she said the government should prioritize, but that much of the rest of the government would have to undergo deep cuts that amount to some much-needed “tough love.”

She declined to say whether she thinks Boehner should step down if the limit is raised, as some of her tea party supporters have demanded.

Bachmann was joined by two of her daughters and her husband, Marcus Bachmann, at the noontime event, during which she was grilled not only about her economic positions but about several recent controversies surrounding her 2012 campaign.

Asked about one controversy — reports that her husband’s Christian-based clinic in Minnesota conducts gay-to-straight counseling — Bachmann demurred, as she has on other occasions, but put some distance between her presidential aspirations and her husband’s work.

“I’m extremely proud of my husband. I have tremendous respect and admiration for him,” she said. “But I am running for the presidency of the United States. My husband is not running for the presidency of the United States.”

In the past, Bachmann has cited the clinic as an example of her role as a small-business owner and job creator.

Bachmann also was questioned about a recent Washington Post report in which experts concluded that she signed for a home loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. She has repeatedly called for the dismantling of the government-backed loan programs.

“Unlike all of you who I’m sure paid cash for your homes, [there are] other people out there like myself who actually have to go out there and get a mortgage,” she quipped. “And that is the problem. It is almost impossible to buy a home in the country today without the federal government being involved.”

Sandhya Somashekhar is the social change reporter for the Washington Post.
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