Freshman lawmakers preview debt ceiling battle
January 6th, 2013
09:32 AM ET
10 years ago

Freshman lawmakers preview debt ceiling battle

(CNN) – The upcoming fight in Congress over raising the federal debt ceiling was previewed Sunday by two freshman lawmakers representing opposing viewpoints on whether spending cuts should be paired with the increase.

Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, have said they plan to use the battle over raising the debt ceiling as leverage for more spending cuts, which were left out of last week's deal to avert the fiscal cliff. If the ceiling isn't raised by late February or early March, the United States runs the risk of defaulting on its obligations, because the Treasury would no longer have enough money available to pay all the country's bills.

Speaking Sunday, first-term Republican Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina said he would "absolutely not" support any increase in the debt limit that wasn't linked to cuts in federal spending.

"The bottom line is that we can't continue down the path we're on of borrowing money to pay our own debt," Hudson told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union." "We've got to have serious spending cuts. We've got to have dollar-for-dollar within the same year."

One person not up for that debate: President Barack Obama, who said right after the House passed a final fiscal cliff compromise, "I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed."

Other Democrats, including Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, agree. She said on "State of the Union" that the haggling over spending cuts before raising the debt limit, as described by Hudson, could potentially destroy America's economy.

"We cannot jeopardize the full faith and credit, and the credit rating, of this country," the North Dakota lawmaker said. "We have got to take this in an incremental way and recognize that we need these spending cuts. We need to take a look at where we go on a path forward."

Part of that path, she said, was getting more Americans back to work so they're paying federal income tax, which would increase revenues and help pay down debt.

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

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Tony

    Republicans, you are not going to win a public relations battle against Obama. The last couple of years should have made this clear. If you don't raise the debt ceiling, and the government defaults, which means that it cannot pay its bills, including Social Security and Medicare, then you really are going to lose the public relations battle.

    January 6, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. davidfarrar

    Everybody, including Pres. Obama, has recognized we can't keep spending at the present level and expect the economy to recover, or our 'entitlements' (because you paid for them) benefits to be there when you need them 20 years from now. The reason why we are here now using the debt ceiling crisis as a bargaining tool is solely because nothing else seems to be powerful enough to force the President and liberal members Congress (and RINOs) to actually face the stark economic challenge that is before us all.

    ex animo

    January 6, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. Ancient Texan

    The two sides must finally admit that the out of control spending is not substainable and must be cut, or the nation will pay a terrible price; bankruptcy.

    January 6, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Do something and quit talking about it. If you are a younger citizen start yourself a savings plan of some kind for your retirement. Don't depend on the Government. Social Security was never ment to retire on It may not be there or very little when you retire. If we keep raising the Federal Debt the whole thing is going to collapse and the 1930's will look like a Sunday Picnic. Be Smart. Plan your own future.

    January 6, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. FOX NEWS: The dung beetle of journalism.

    Indeed, the GOP beetles are pushing the "Fox facts"!

    Perhaps they could explaiin to the class, how NOT paying legally incurred bills, approved by past Congresses is "avoiding bankruptcy"?

    January 6, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. CAWinMD

    davidfarrar - if everybody recognizes the need to cut spending, then you don't need to force it on the debt ceiling discussion. Regular order for establishing a budget that cuts spending will suffice. But if you can't convince a majority of the House and 60 Senators that the budget cuts are worthwhile, then maybe they shouldn't be forced upon the nation through a vehicle (the debt ceiling) that has nothing to do with future spending cuts.

    Ancient Texan - are Republicans really willing to plunge the nation back into a recession (or worse), and the global economy into a tailspin, just for a couple trillion in spending cuts that everybody knows will not do anything for our $16 trillion dollar debt? The smartest thing that Republicans could do is have a clean bill for the debt ceiling, then point to that and the fiscal cliff and say "See? We have been reasonable through this - it's time to talk about meaningful spending cuts." They would be in a much better place in the public relations battle than where they are now.

    January 6, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. AK_steve

    So the GOP who created most of our debt – two unpaid wars, unpaid prescription drug program and a tax break that will be responsible for HALF our debt by 2020 – are going to hold the US economy hostage to get what they want.

    It is completely irresponsible to threaten the default on our debt. The GOP is basically saying – "we are willing to put the economy into a recession if we don't get what we want." They are completely putting party before people. And yet they still have the nerve to blame it on the President.

    The GOP is destroying America and we are becoming a laughingstock throughout the world.

    January 6, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Mike

    As usual, the Republicans don't understand the debate at hand. This is about paying the bills already incurred. A cut in spending now does nothing to reduce our current debt. It's just like buying a house and then paying the bill through a mortgage (i.e. debt). Of course, why should they understand it since they don't use math or believe in science anyway? And how come they weren't worried about debt a couple of years ago when they insisted that the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% be extended along with everyone else (you know, that unfunded $900 billion liability that they added to the books)? Oh I know – it's because of their misguided belief in trickle-down economics and the idea that the wealthiest are the job creators.

    January 6, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |