The debt debate remains deadlocked in Washington as the nation moves perilously close to the August 2 deadline, when the federal government is expected to reach its debt limit and not be able to pay all of its obligations.
Freshman Republican Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan has been a staunch supporter of the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation that passed the GOP-controlled House last week, but died in the Democratic-controlled Senate. In an interview with Greenwood affiliate WLMA Tuesday, he said he is continuing to battle for what he views as the will of the people.
Democrats say they are fighting for a deal that reflects shared sacrifice and they want to close tax loopholes and discontinue tax subsidies that would open the door for the nation’s wealthy to pay more in taxes. Republicans say they are against building revenues through any form of tax increases.
Financial experts say if the U.S defaults, the nation’s credit rating will be downgraded, while interest rates will be upgraded and that will result in a deeper recession. Duncan says the long-term solution is to make major cuts in government spending, move in a deliberate fashion to pay down the debt, and ultimately balance the federal budget.
Duncan complained that the Democratic-majority Senate voted down the “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill without allowing substantive debate on the measure.
Democrats and a number of moderate Republicans are blaming lawmakers associated with the Tea Party for blocking House Speaker John Boehner’s efforts to hammer out a deal with the White House and Senate Democrats. Duncan says what he and other freshmen Republican members of Congress are asking for in the deal is not unreasonable and makes sound financial sense.
Democrats accuse Republicans of seeking to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and those who rely on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
In a speech to the nation Monday night, President Obama said that the nation voted for divided government, but they did not vote for a dysfunctional government. Duncan says Republicans are holding firm to getting a deal that will include a balanced budget amendment.
Anne Eller of Greenwood affiliate WLMA contributed to this report