Updated: NRCC Targets Altmire over Balanced Budget Amendment

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Republicans in DC are taking their latest shot at Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Allegheny). The National Republican Campaign Committee is targeting the Congressman over his opposition to the House GOP’s Cut, Cap and Balance measure, which the committee blames for the downgrade of the country’s credit rating.

Robocalls are going out to about a thousand registered voters in western PA today, along with a number of other targeted districts across the country.

Altmire, a conservative Democrat, has stated his support for a Balanced Budget Amendment, but voted against the package along with nine Republicans and all but five House Democrats.

“Rep. Altmire talks a big game about supporting spending cuts and being fiscally responsible, but that’s where his commitment stops.  When it comes time to force Washington to live within its means, Altmire sides with Nancy Pelosi and opposes serious fiscal reform, including a balanced budget amendment,” said NRCC Spokesman Tory Mazzola.

The Congressman opposed the package but still supports a BBA, responded Altmire Communications Director Richard Carbo.

“The fact is that Congressman Altmire has supported a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) his entire time in Congress,” Carbo said.  “He is the co-sponsor of a bipartisan amendment that is similar to the BBA that nearly passed in 1995, but fell short by one vote.  Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a direct, clean vote on a balanced budget amendment yet.”

The recent debt ceiling compromise will likely yield a ‘clean’ BBA vote this fall. In its report, Standard and Poor’s cited Congress’s unwillingness to raise revenues (read: taxes) as a significant factor in the downgrade.

It’s also not the first time (or likely the last) that Altmire has been on the receiving end of NRCC robocalls.

Update, 5:15pm: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent around this fact-check of the NRCC robocall, refuting the notion that Cut, Cap and Balance would have improved America’s credit outlook.

Here’s the key point from the release: “In reality, as the Washington Post reported today, the S&P’s head of the ratings divisions had said that a balanced budget amendment would be ‘more harmful than helpful to the country’s creditworthiness.'”

Here is the call script:

Hello, I’m calling from the National Republican Congressional Committee, 320 First Street SE, Washington, DC  20003, 202.479.7000, with an important recorded message about your Congressman Jason Altmire.

Jason Altmire continued to oppose a Balanced Budget Amendment that would force Washington to live within its means. Jason Altmire and his fellow Democrats’ addiction to big government spending has led to a downgrade of America’s credit rating and a dramatic loss in the global markets that could force you to pay more for everyday expenses.

While Jason Altmire keeps standing in the way of real fiscal reform, middle-class families in Pennsylvania could now see a loss in retirement savings while mortgage rates, car payments and student loans could become even more expensive.

Call Congressman Jason Altmire at 202-225-2565 and tell him to stop his reckless borrowing spree.

Paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

August 9th, 2011 | Posted in Congress, Front Page Stories | No Comments