Yesterday, sixth-district congresswoman Michele Bachmann became the first Republican presidential candidate to come out against the plan proposed by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to increase the national debt limit.
Bachmann has consistently opposed any plan to raise the debt ceiling, and the Des Moines Register reports that her stance reflects an ideological division within the Republican party that is "vexing Boehner's attempts to garner enough votes" to break the stalemate.
Bachmann announced her opposition to the plan during a campaign stop in Iowa yesterday, where she said President Obama and other political leaders are with ordinary Americans. ABC News has more details and a video of her press conference.
The Star Tribune reported on it last week, but new details are out today on the number of congressional votes Bachmann has missed since launching her presidential bid. The Hill reports that Bachmann has missed 37 percent of votes in the U.S. House since making her formal announcement June 27 in Waterloo, Iowa.
How significant are a few missed votes? It depends. The Star Tribune says it's par for the course for many presidential contenders. Fellow U.S. House members and presidential hopefuls Ron Paul and Thaddeus McCotter have missed far fewer votes; however, both are considered "longshot bids" for the GOP nomination.
The Washington Post reports that Bachmann may have personally benefitted from a government-subsidized home loan program that the she has criticized as a member of Congress. In 2008, Bachmann and her husband helped finance their $760,000 home with a $417,000 loan backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In response, Bachmann's campaign said only that her personal financial disclosures "will speak for themselves."
About those migraines: a writer for U.S. News and World Report opines that media speculation about the severity and significance of Bachmann's occasional migraine headaches is fueled by sexism.
Finally, PolitiFact checks out a criticism Bachmann made of fellow presidential candidate and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and finds it "mostly true."