Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

OMB's Lew Warns of 'Chaos' Resulting from Default; Rubio Says Obama Stalled Debt Talks OMB's Lew Warns of 'Chaos' Resulting from Default; Rubio Says Obama St...

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Homepage / Sunday Show Blog

OMB's Lew Warns of 'Chaos' Resulting from Default; Rubio Says Obama Stalled Debt Talks

July 17, 2011

If the administration has been working on the issue all year, Rubio added, then “where is the president’s plan? I've never seen a piece of paper with the president’s name on it that's his plan to solve this problem.”

But as for plans that are on the table, Rubio was unenthusiastic about the proposal floated by his own caucus leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“If all we do is raise the debt limit and it’s not accompanied by a credible solution to America's debt problem, we are in big trouble,” he said. “And I don't believe this plan, as it’s been outlined to me, is a credible solution to the debt problem."

Deron Lee

11:30. Durbin Says Balanced Budget Amendment Won't Pass Senate

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday that the balanced budget amendment scheduled for a Senate vote this week is dead on arrival.

“No one believes there’s 67 votes for any version of that,” Durbin said, suggesting that the vote was a waste of precious time as the debt-ceiling deadline nears with a deal still nowhere in sight.

But Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the longtime deficit hawk, suggested that the chamber is out of touch with the electorate on the issue.

“Why in the world aren’t there the votes for a balanced budget amendment in the Senate? That’s what Americans ought to be asking,” Coburn said, appearing on the program with Durbin.

Both senators joined the chorus of bipartisan criticism on the Hill for the proposal from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., allowing President Obama to raise the debt ceiling with Congress registering votes of disapproval.

“It’s a great political plan,” Coburn said. "It takes the pressure off of all the politicians, but allows us to pass a debt limit without making the hard choices that this country has to make."

Neither senator committed to voting against the McConnell plan, however, and Durbin expressed confidence that ongoing meetings between McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., might produce a viable compromise.

Deron Lee

10:30. Giuliani Says GOP Should 'Stay Out' of Gay Marriage Debate

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday that he is still weighing a 2012 bid, but he offered the Republican field stern advice on gay marriage.

“I don't know what the heck the Republican Party wants to do getting involved in people's sexual lives and personal lives so much. Stay out of it," Giuliani told Candy Crowley on CNN's State of the Union. "And I think we'd be a much more successful political party if we stuck to our economic, conservative roots and our idea of a strong, assertive America that is not embarrassed to be the leader of the world."

Trying to stoke interest in a possible campaign, Giuliani gave the interview during a visit to New Hampshire, the state that hosts the nation’s first presidential primary. But many political strategists, pointing to Giuliani’s poor showing in 2008, are skeptical that he would be competitive.

Beth Reinhard

10:14. Jordan, Van Hollen Square Off on 'Cut, Cap, and Balance'

With just over two weeks left before the debt-limit deadline, key congressional Republicans and Democrats remained entrenched in their opposing positions on Sunday despite the recent emergence of two proposals from the GOP side.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the Republican Study Committee chairman, made the case for the “cut, cap, and balance” plan favored by many House Republicans, in which a debt-ceiling deal is contingent upon spending cuts, a cap on future spending, and a balanced budget amendment.

“Let’s do something historic,” Jordan said in an interview on Fox News Sunday, calling the proposal a "common-sense American plan" that would set the fiscal house in order on a permanent basis. 

Also appearing on the program was House Budget ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who dismissed the proposal by tying it to the controversial budget plan authored by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Van Hollen argued that “cut, cap, and balance” would essentially write Ryan’s proposed restructuring of Medicare into the Constitution.

“The framers would be turning in their graves if they read [the GOP] provision,” Van Hollen said.

Jordan responded most Americans would favor a balanced budget amendment, and that state governments have passed similar measures.

“To call balancing the budget 'dangerous' is unbelievable,” he said.

One thing Jordan and Van Hollen do agree on is that they don’t like the plan floated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that would allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling while Congress is free register votes of disapproval.

Jordan said the House GOP caucus would not vote for the McConnell plan, which he said would merely “kick the can down the road” on the nation’s fiscal crises. Van Hollen agreed, but he stopped short of pledging to vote against the proposal, acknowledging that at some point it might prove the only option left to avoid economic catastrophe.

Deron Lee

9:45. OMB's Lew Warns of 'Chaos' if Debt Deal is Not Reached

Jacob Lew, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, refused on Sunday to say which bills the government would pay first if the debt limit is not raised by the August 2 deadline.

Pressed by Candy Crowley on CNN's State of the Union to list “priorities,’’ Lew denied the existence of a contingency plan spelling out how the government would handle its Social Security payments, government paychecks, and bills from defense contractors if Congress does not act by the deadline. He repeatedly emphasized that "chaos" would result if the nation defaulted on its debt, as some Republicans press for brinksmanship in the face of possible tax hikes.

“I think it's not insignificant that all the leaders understand that it would be irresponsible to get to August 2 and not extend the ability of the United States to pay its obligations,’’ he said. “There will be a fringe that believes that playing with Armageddon is a good idea, but I don't think that's where the majority will be. ... I have confidence that ultimately the responsible leadership in Washington will not fail to take an action."

Asked about the balanced budget amendment advocated by House Republicans, Lew said it would result in “draconian" cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

But Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also appearing on State of the Union, insisted that Congress will never rein in spending and cut the deficit without the pressure of a constitutional amendment.

“Without that, we’re just going to talk to each other and run America into the ground,’’ Graham said.

President Obama has sought to gain the moral high ground in the negotiations over the debt ceiling by suggesting a willingness to cut entitlement programs sacred to the Democratic Party while Republicans, he says, are refusing to compromise. “We need a partner to work with," Lew said in a second Sunday interview on ABC’s This Week.

But Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., also appearing on the program, called the president’s bluff, saying that Obama has yet to detail any reductions to Social Security and Medicare.

“We have no idea what he’s talking about,’’ Kyl said.

Beth Reinhard

Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
comments powered by Disqus