Chaffetz, who voted against both Boehner’s first proposal and the final bill, said he was well aware of how the leadership had used his and others’ willingness to let a default happen as a negotiating chip, and said he didn’t mind at all. “We weren’t kidding around, either,” he said. “We would have taken it down.”
For the freshman class, most of whom ultimately voted for the final deal, there was ambivalence about this bite of the spending apple. The cuts should have been deeper, many said, and the deal should have included a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Still, it recognized how far it had shifted the debate.
Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia, who arrived last year with strong support from tea party groups and Cantor’s PAC, voted no on the deal. Hours later, he changed into faded jeans to attend a $1,500-per-head fundraiser on his behalf, held at the AT&T box at Nationals Park, a classic Washington-style event. The next day, he was flying home for a corn roast in his district and looking forward to explaining his vote to his constituents.