Congress and the Obama Administration have about a month to reach a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling on how much the government can borrow. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said that August 2 is the date when the government will have exhausted all of its emergency measures to hold off default on the debt.
President Obama is expected to step in and meet with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to hammer out a deal. Democrats and Republicans in Congress met for weeks before Republicans pulled out Thursday over an impasse– Democrats say the government needs to raise additional revenue, while Republicans say it’s possible to cut spending without tax increases.
Democratic South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn was part of those talks. He downplayed their collapse on MSNBC, saying Republicans pulled out the same day they were scheduled to finish.
We were looking for common ground, looking for a framework and passing the framework on to (the President and Republican leaders). Leaving the meeting simply means that the thing got kicked up a day or two earlier than expected.
Appearing on Greenwood affiliate WLMA, Republican 3rd District Congressman Jeff Duncan says he and fellow Republicans may be open to raising the debt ceiling, if the deal includes significant spending cuts and no new tax increases.
Republicans want to reduce government spending in an amount equal to any increase in the debt limit. Proposals by Democrats include eliminating tax subsidies for oil and gas companies, and limiting tax deductions for wealthier Americans.
Financial experts say that if the federal government defaults and debt payments are missed or delayed, the nation could spiral into a new recessions. Duncan says in order for the country to get serious about lowering its debt and balancing the budget, now is the time to place mandates in the Constitution.
Audio coutesy of WLMA in Greenwood