Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday it would be irresponsible to wait until the last minute for Congress to reach an agreement on raising the debt limit and that President Barack Obama should stop trying to scare the public or it will damage the economy.
"I think it's not a good idea to go to the debt ceiling deadline, I think it’s a good idea to have an agreement in advance," the Kentucky Republican told CNN's "State of the Union."
"I also think it's irresponsible for the president, who when he was a senator voted not to raise the debt ceiling, it's irresponsible for him to scare people," Paul said.
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"The leader of the country should be soothing the markets and saying we will always pay the interest on our debt. A good leader should be saying we will never default," Paul said.
The Senate rejected a Democratic bill along party lines on Saturday to increase the debt ceiling by $1.1 trillion without spending cuts. The vote was 53-45 vote in favor of the bill, but 60 votes were needed for passage.
Democrats and some economists say that not raising the debt ceiling by Thursday's deadline would create cataclysmic consequences for the U.S. and global economy.
Republicans say the bill would have busted spending caps put in place under the sequester and want spending cuts to accompany the debt ceiling increase.
"It's funny, [Democrats] are all about Obamacare being the law of the land, but so is the sequester," Paul said. "If we exceed that, it's a real big step in the wrong direction."
"People have to realize that not raising the debt ceiling means you have to balance your budget, it doesn't mean you default," Paul said. People are conflating these two and it's not the same thing."
Asked by host Candy Crowley if the government shutdown has caused irreparable harm to the Republican Party, Paul said, "I think our demise is a little overstated."
"I think Democrats think this is a parlor game, think this is fun," Paul said.
"They think, we'll send a bunch of government workers out there to close off the roadside viewing of Mount Rushmore because that will be funny," Paul said.
"I think it isn’t funny and I think Democrats and Republicans are going to catch blame. I don't see this as winning or losing – this is a lose-lose situation. We need to open up government and it does require a conversation, but the president is the one saying he won't negotiate," Paul said.
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