Top Democrat says Coburn walked away from deficit deal
May 22nd, 2011
10:34 AM ET
11 years ago

Top Democrat says Coburn walked away from deficit deal

Washington (CNN) - Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a member of the bipartisan so-called "gang of six," said the group reached a deal before Republican Sen. Tom Coburn dropped out Tuesday.

"We were ready to announce as far as I was concerned and then Sen. Coburn said no I'm not part of this and walked away," Durbin said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "The question now is whether senators on both sides of the aisle, Democrat and Republican will step up and say don't stop. We need to do this together, we need to sacrifice and make concessions on both sides if we're ever going to solve this national problem."

Durbin's comments come amid negotiations in Congress and the White House over the budget and debt ceiling. Vice President Joe Biden is leading one set of bipartisan negotiations in addition to the "gang of six" talks.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the U.S. can borrow until August 2, after reaching the limit of $14.29 trillion last week because of extra measures taken by the department.

Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate encouraged other members of Congress to join the gang and warned of the dangers to the U.S. economy if the country defaults on its loans, saying inaction is "totally unacceptable."

"A default on the American debt could plunge us into another recession with even more jobs lost and businesses failing," Durbin told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "Those few and I think totally irresponsible members of Congress who say it really doesn't make any difference if we default are being irresponsible with one of the most significant issues that we're going to face."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Deficit • Dick Durbin • Tom Coburn • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Ray E. (Georgia)

    So what's the deal Durbin. Double the 14.3 Trillion debt over the next ten years? It is time for people to step up and take responsibility for their welfare Dick! Does the word Depression mean anything? That's still what I see in the headlights. Too bad all the Social Engineers are dead. Slash Spending Dick! The States are having to do it.

    May 22, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. ED FL

    Coburn is less worried about the Us population then he is about being an accesory to the CRiMES committed by his CLOSE FRIEND Senator Ensign. Remember he was acting as his mentor in the payoff by Ensigns parents in the sex scandal . Coburn may end of being a prison Doctor if things do not go well. They would not care how COMPETENT he is.

    May 22, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Coburn isn't working for the citizens of the U.S. He's spending all his time trying to figure out how to get himself out of the FELONY CHARGES that should be against him for aiding and abetting Criminal Ensign in his love affair with the approval of the C-Street Family Republicans.

    Oklahoma – VOTE HIM OUT. HE'S ROTTEN.

    May 22, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Aaron

    This Congress has accomplished nothing and is obviously going to continue doing nothing, even allowing the economy to totally tank without a debt ceiling increase.

    May 22, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    Sen. Tom Coburn good at making deal for friend’s affairs not at our nation deficit

    May 22, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Four and The Door

    The Obama Administration was part of setting the current debt limit. They did nothing to keep from exceeding it. They did this against strong opposition from the American people and the Republicans.

    Obama and the Democrat's plan from day 1 of his presidency was to drive debt up so far that he could push up taxes with threats like we see now. This is no mistake. Remember when they began approving spending and Americans started becoming familiar with money in terms of trillions of dollars?!? We used to think billions were big.

    Make the Democrats agree to spending cuts. It is obscene that they are resisting in the face of another debt ceiling increase. Our taxes are already among the highest in the world. Raising them is not the answer.

    May 22, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. Charles

    Republicans seem to view compromise as weakness.

    May 22, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. B

    Where the Hell were all of these so called conservatives and -seeing the light- when the previous administration was running the country off the cliff?

    We are here because there was NO ONE asking these questions during the eight year Bush debacle!

    May 22, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |