Washington (CNN) – Republican Rep. Steve King said he doubts any vote in the House to end the government shutdown and raise the debt limit will include legislation he can support, and reiterated his stance that Thursday's deadline to avoid default is nothing more than a date "picked on a calendar."
In an interview on CNN's "New Day" Wednesday, King said conservatives must continue to dig in and insist that any deal include long-term entitlement reform and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, two requests that are highly unlikely to make it into any agreement.
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"If we're not willing to take a stand now, then when will we take this stand? We watched this thing move ahead and watched our debt go up a trillion dollars a year an average each year of this presidency," the conservative Republican from Iowa told CNN's Kate Bolduan.
He added "there's a price to be paid" for fiscal responsibility, and if "the conservative Republican plan had been implemented five years ago, say at the inception of what is now the Obama presidency, we would have far less debt and deficit."
King also said he's not so concerned if the government passes Thursday's deadline to raise the debt limit.
"I don't believe it's a hard break tomorrow. It's just a date they picked on the calendar," he said, saying the government will still be able to pay the interest on its debt. "I'm more concerned about market reaction than I am of default itself."
Thursday marks the day the Treasury Department will run out of special accounting maneuvers to keep the nation under the legal borrowing limit.
So from that point on, it will have to pay the country's incoming bills and other legal obligations with an estimated $30 billion in cash, plus whatever daily revenue comes in.
CNNMoney.com: Debt ceiling countdown: What happens next
The expectation is that Treasury will be able to pay bills in full for a short time after Thursday. Just how long isn't known. According to the best outside estimates, the first day Treasury will run short of cash to pay what's due could come between October 22 and November 1.
- CNNMoney's Jeanne Sahadi contributed to this report.