It's time for lawmakers to stop "ignoring the 800-pound gorilla in the room" and do something about entitlements, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady said Monday.
"Let's stop ignoring the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Let's tackle it," the Texas Republican said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
"We ought to change our spending habits. We ought to start tackling the big issues, which we all know [are] Social Security, Medicare, and the others," said Brady, who sits on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security.
He said Republicans are ready to lead the way in working with Democrats and President Barack Obama to find solutions to the nation's budget issues.
"We would like the president to join us. We would like to lead," he said." If he wants a discussion about how we take those first important steps, entitlements, we're there. We're at the table now."
Though not a proponent of raising the debt ceiling in the past, Brady said he never thought the federal government should neglect to pay its debts. But the vote by Congress last week to extend the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 just postpones making tough choices, he noted.
"Sometimes I feel like Washington, the Fed, the White House, are stuck on stupid. We keep going back to the same crisis time after time again. It doesn't make sense," he said.
"I think the public is way out ahead of Congress and the president on these issues," he said. They know something is wrong. They know something has to be done."
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