Tennessee ‘No's' On Debt Ceiling Vote

To understand the problem U.S. House leaders have in cobbling together an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, you need look no further than Tennessee. The final proposal to be voted on remains fluid and various proposals are out there—but it appears unlikely that any of the seven Republican House members in the state delegation will vote to raise the debt ceiling.

Congressmen Stephen Fincher, Scott DesJarlais, Diane Black, and Chuck Fleischmann were newly elected in 2010. Most of them will likely have primary opposition anyway, but if they vote for the debt ceiling they will be giving an opponent a club with which to beat them. Congressman Jimmy Duncan has never voted for a raise in the debt ceiling, so why would he this time?

Congressmen Marsha Blackburn and Phillip Roe are also deficit hawks who have long railed against government spending.

Thus, Tennessee has two Democratic members of the delegation in Jim Cooper and Steve Cohen who might vote for the final deficit package—but that is by no means certain.