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MCCONNELL: ‘Hopefully, We Don’t Need To Get To The Point’ Of Default
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell laid the groundwork for a fight over raising the country’s debt ceiling on Sunday. But he would not say whether he would accept a government default if President Barack Obama does not negotiate over the debt ceiling, as he has promised.
On ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” the host asked McConnell whether he was prepared to “take a hostage,” so to speak, as The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board wrote this week.
Stephanopoulos asked McConnell — twice — if he was “prepared … to see the country default” and if that would be “acceptable.”
“My answer is, hopefully we don’t need to get to that point,” McConnell said. “The President surely must know we’re spending way too much. So why don’t we do something about reducing spending?”
McConnell also shaped any possible debate as being solely focused on spending cuts, saying that discussions about new revenue from taxes is “behind us.”
“Oh, yeah, the tax — the revenue — the tax issue is finished, over, completed. That’s behind us,” he said. “Now the question is, what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future? And that’s our spending addiction. It’s time to confront it. The President surely knows that. I mean, he has mentioned it both publicly and privately. The time to confront it is now.”
Obama used his weekly address Saturday to reaffirm past comments saying that he will not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling.
“One thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up,” Obama said. “If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it. Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.”