GOP Senators Mull Partial Gov’t Shutdown in Debt-Ceiling Fight
(WASHINGTON) — As Washington, D.C., braces for a battle over raising the debt ceiling and sequestration, a number of Republican senators have suggested a partial government shutdown should be considered as a serious option if they are not able to receive certain spending concessions from the president.
“The coming deadlines will be the next flashpoints in our ongoing fight to bring fiscal sanity to Washington,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, wrote in an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle Friday morning. “It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told the Dallas Morning News that he would be open to a partial government shutdown, pointing to the 1995 shutdown as “the greatest degree of fiscal responsibility we have seen from Congress in modern times.”
On Wednesday, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., urged Republicans to consider a partial government shutdown, saying it would be “a hell of a lot better” than agreeing to a deal with no spending cuts.
“The president has made it very clear: he doesn’t even want to have a discussion about it, because he knows this is where we have leverage,” Toomey said on MSNBC Wednesday. “We Republicans need to be willing to tolerate a temporary partial government shutdown –which is what that could mean — and insist that we get off the road to Greece because that’s the road we’re on right now.”
Shortly after Congress passed legislation to avert the fiscal cliff, President Obama declared his firm stance when it comes to the upcoming debt ceiling fight.
“While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether they should pay the bills for what they’ve racked up,” Obama said late Tuesday night. “We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred.”
Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner announced Monday that the country reached its debt limit, and if the debt ceiling is not raised in the coming months, the country risks going into default.
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