Throughout the debt ceiling debate, the spotlight has focused on the South Carolina delegation, with every member pledging to vote “no” on House Speaker John Boehner’s Budget Control Act.
The representatives from the Palmetto State, in fact, played a unique role that did not go unnoticed during Thursday night’s showdown.
All of them were dragged into long meetings that night with Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy who had the grueling task of rounding up votes. Though pizza was involved, the meetings could not have been pleasant.
Despite the pressure, the South Carolinians emerged, maybe a bit worn down, but happier for it.
Three of them — Reps. Tim Scott, Mick Mulvaney and Jeff Duncan — headed to the nearby chapel to pray.
Emerging afterward, Scott — now famously — said smiling, “I was a lean no. Now, I’m a no.”
When The Daily Caller caught up with Scott for an interview Friday afternoon, he confirmed he was still a “no” vote, though he did not rule out a last minute change of heart. In the end, Scott voted against Boehner’s plan, which passed the House without Democratic support.
“I think the Boehner bill is far more complete than it was before last evening,” Scott told TheDC. When asked if it might change his vote, Scott said “There’s always a chance.” (RELATED: House passes Boehner’s debt ceiling plan)
But while the attached balanced-budget amendment was a huge step forward, Scott said he would have preferred it to have been at the front of the two-step process, not in the middle.
“I think if it were on the front, all of us would be a ‘yes’ right now,” he added.
For Scott, the process of the debt limit increase, arguably one of the toughest fights of his short congressional career, was made easier by the support of his fellow South Carolinians.
“We sat there [Thursday night] and went through the process of how to make a good decision on this vote,” he told TheDC. “We did it in collaboration with each other. We thought through the impact back at home, we thought through the impact in D.C., but most importantly, we thought through ‘how does this decision impact working Americans who are desperate to pass on to the next generation within their families the American dream?’”.
“And we talked through how to come to the right decision.”
Scott said he and his colleagues from South Carolina worked in collaboration with their firm “nays,” and even talked amongst themselves about how to vote.
He isn’t all that optimistic about the plan as it goes to the Senate. Scott told TheDC he sees a scenario in which the House sends the bill to the Senate, which sends back a weak alternative.
At that point, said Scott, he thinks Boehner, along with Senators Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, will iron out a last-minute plan with the White House.