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Friday July 29, 2011 | 02:38 PM

Republicans are criticizing Rep. Mike Michaud and other “Blue Dog” fiscally conservative Democrats for not backing the House GOP plan to cut spending and seek a balanced budget amendment in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

But Michaud, D-1st, said he will vote against the revised debt ceiling plan by GOP House Speaker John Boehner that GOP leaders hope will finally get on the floor and pass this evening after Thursday’s failure of the initial plan in the face of criticism from some conservative Republicans. House Democrats are expected to line up solidly against the revised plan.

Michaud said in a statement ahead of the possible vote that, “I am willing to make cuts, but I will not support a one-sided approach. This bill seeks to reduce the deficit on the backs of hardworking Mainers. At the same time, it contains no shared sacrifice, and it asks absolutely nothing of major corporations or the millionaires and billionaires that currently benefit from a system tilted in their favor.”

Michaud added that, “I’ve heard from thousands of Mainers that want a balanced deal reached, but not one that could lead to the slashing of critical programs like Medicare and Social Security. I share their disgust with this Washington debate, and it’s beyond me why this bill seeks to repeat it just a few short months from now.”
Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st, a member of the House Progressive Caucus, also will vote no, if the revised Boehner plan gathers enough support from conservative House Republicans to reach the House floor later today.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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