Alabama GOP Sen. Richard Shelby
says he hopes a deal can be reached to avoid a government shutdown, but it has to be the beginning of a long-term commitment to cut federal spending, because the country is on the “road to financial suicide.” The Senate Banking Committee’s ranking member Thursday also told Lou Dobbs on the Fox Business Network that Democrats need to face fiscal reality.
“I hope that a deal can be reached, but I hope it’s one that at least makes the first down payment on cutting, rather than borrowing and spending,” Shelby said. “We’re on the margin here; this is just the beginning of what we are going to be going through in the years to come up here, to bring some financial sanity back to America.
“I think the president could — if he could show leadership — he could step in here and say: ‘We’re going to fund the government.’ Nobody wants to let the government shut down — that’s absurd,” he continued. “On the other hand, there are a lot of principles involved here; the American people know that we’re burying ourselves in debt. And I think the Republican message is: This is the beginning of a long protracted cutting [process] — we’ve got to face up to fiscal reality here in Washington.”
Dobbs noted it is “extraordinary” that President Barack Obama is saying $12 billion in cuts is excessive, and asked what it was going to take for Congress to finally act on 2011 spending.
“That’s the question of the hour, Lou,” Shelby replied. “We’re on the road to financial suicide — we know that — and the question is: When are we going to wake up to this? I believe the Republicans get the message; I’m not sure the Democrats do.
“If we continue to spend, and borrow, and spend, this country is really at risk — big time,” he said. “I say to people all the time: If not now, when — when are we going to come back to our senses — when are we going to face reality.
“We cannot borrow our way to prosperity.”
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