And please don’t tell me that we’ll give in on taxes now and make our stand on spending and entitlements over the national debt limit — ain’t gonna happen.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said in Houston Thursday that Congress will not allow an impasse over raising the debt ceiling to result in the federal government defaulting on its spending obligations.
“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board.
Cornyn’s fellow Republicans, particularly in the House, have been trying to use the issue of the debt ceiling to force President Obama to agree to spending cuts.
Obama has said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling. He has insisted that if Congress refuses to raise the debt limit, the nation will default on its spending obligations, including veterans benefits and Social Security payments.
“I will tell you unequivocally, we’re not going to default,” Cornyn said Thursday.
House Republicans, meanwhile, meeting at an annual retreat in Williamsburg, Va., told reporters that they are considering a plan to raise the legal borrowing limit for just a few months, postponing the debt-ceiling debate until March.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., expressed a willingness to consider a plan that would allow the White House to prioritize spending in case the borrowing limit is not raised.
Cornyn said that paying bills on a pro rata basis or delaying payment on some bills until the debt ceiling issue is resolved may be possible, “but my hope would be that we would not even go there.”
In an opinion piece in the Chronicle last week, Cornyn wrote that shutting down parts of government may be necessary if the White House and Congress cannot agree on a deal to slash spending.
“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,” he wrote. “President Obama needs to take note of this reality and put forward a plan to avoid it immediately.”
Never should have given Obama his pound of tax increases. Should have done the Christmas Plan and kept everything up for discussion. But what do I know.