Sen. Thune: Don't Oversell Debt Deal

Tuesday, 02 Aug 2011 09:33 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Sen. John Thune says he has serious misgivings about some elements of the debt-reduction compromise, but he will vote for it and believes it will pass the Senate. The South Dakota Republican also asked today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe:” “If not this — what?”

Sen. John Thune, South Dakota, Republican, debt, deal
Sen John Thune: "If you’re somebody like me who doesn’t like the whole joint-committee process, and doesn’t like the triggers, you’re probably going to be disappointed." (Getty Images Photo)
“I think it is important not to oversell this, because this is a start — this is certainly not a solution to the challenges we face,” Thune said. “But as you know . . . so much of what happens in Washington is directional,” adding that the last time Congress tried “to turn the ship around” was in the 1990s when host Joe Scarborough was a Florida congressman.

Noting that there has been considerable talk that the debt-ceiling agreement does not reach far enough, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Thune why Congress could not hammer out a more substantial deal.

“I think it has a lot to do with the forces that are at work here,” Thune said. “Remember, this is a president who presented a budget this year that increased spending by 55 percent, that literally doubled the debt — the gross debt, $27 trillion at the end of the decade, and had $1.6 trillion in tax increases in there.

“I think this is moving the ball in the right direction — it doesn’t include taxes, it does have spending cuts, it’s got a vote on a balanced budget amendment — so there are lots of things in here I think to commend it,” he said. “Now, if you are someone who wants to see a bigger, more robust solution, then yes, you’re going to be disappointed — and if you’re somebody like me who doesn’t like the whole joint-committee process, and doesn’t like the triggers, you’re probably going to be disappointed.”

Thune said the deal has to be viewed through the prism of the circumstances that exist on Capitol Hill.

“I think our leaders — Speaker Boehner, Senator McConnell — against a stacked deck, got the best possible deal they could get,” he said.


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