‘Absolutist’ Tea-Party Backers Put U.S. on Brink, Murkowski Says

Friday, 29 Jul 2011 02:06 PM


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(For more on the debt debate, see EXT6 .)

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- “Absolutist” lawmakers aligned with the Tea Party have put the U.S. “on the brink,” Senator Lisa Murkowski said.

House Speaker John Boehner is grappling with a “situation that is perhaps out of his control” as he struggles to persuade those members to compromise on raising the U.S. debt ceiling, Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said.

“I am really worried about where we are standing and I think part of that has come about because you have individuals that say, ‘It is my way or the highway,’” Murkowski, 54, said today in an interview at Bloomberg’s Washington office. “That is not how you govern.”

House Republicans backed by Tea Party groups have pledged to support a debt-ceiling increase only if it’s accompanied by spending cuts and doesn’t raise taxes. President Barack Obama and Democrats propose a mix of tax increases and spending reductions.

“You have folks who are so black-and-white, who are so absolutist, that we are in a process now where we are on the brink,” said Murkowski, who was defeated by a Tea Party supporter last year in a Republican primary and then re-elected as a write-in candidate.

The senator said she backs the proposal advanced by the Gang of Six “or some iteration of it.”

The bipartisan group of senators called the Gang of Six has proposed to cut the budget deficit by $3.7 trillion using a combination of spending cuts and an overhaul of taxes that would raise $1 trillion. Obama endorsed the plan, while House Republicans balked at the tax increases.

“Those that believe that compromise is a dirty word, that believe that there is no place for compromise within their efforts, I think are damaging the process right now,” she said.

--Editors: Larry Liebert, Joe Winski

To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Wingfield in Washington at Bwingfield3@bloomberg.net

Katarzyna Klimasinska in Washington at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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