Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who said two weeks ago that a government shutdown “might be necessary” as a step to curb federal spending, said in an interview published Friday that Congress “will raise the debt ceiling.””We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told The Houston Chronicle’s editorial board. He added, firmly, that “we’re not going to default.”
Cornyn joins a growing list of conservatives that appear to be backing off on a potential debt-ceiling fight, arguing that the risk of default is not worth it. Rep. Paul Ryan said Thursday that Republicans are discussing a possible short-term increase in the nation’s borrowing limit.
Cornyn told the Chronicle that prioritization of payments in the event the U.S. breaches the debt ceiling could work, “but my hope would be that we would not even go there.”
Two weeks ago, Cornyn wrote in a Houston Chronicle op-ed that it was “unacceptable” that Obama has said he won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling:
[Obama] has already signaled an unwillingness to negotiate over the debt ceiling. This is unacceptable. The president should immediately put forward a plan that addresses these deadlines, and he should launch serious, transparent budget negotiations.
The biggest fiscal problem in Washington is excessive spending, not insufficient taxation. Tax cuts didn’t cause this problem, so tax increases won’t solve it. If we don’t reduce spending and reform our three biggest entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — then we will strangle economic growth, destroy jobs and reduce our standard of living. With the national debt above $16 trillion, and with more than $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities hanging over us, our toughest fiscal decisions cannot be postponed any longer.
Cornyn concluded in that op-ed by writing that a partial shutdown might be necessary “to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain.”
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