Durbin: Not Hiking Debt Ceiling Could be 'Disaster'

Wednesday, 29 Jun 2011 08:15 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin says even if Congress reaches an agreement on the debt ceiling tomorrow, it would take the Congressional Budget Office at least 10 days to put it on paper.  Durbin also said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” if the debt ceiling is not raised, the impact would be dramatic.
 
“We have a deadline — August 2nd. As of August 2nd, if the debt ceiling is not extended, we will see a dramatic negative impact on America and the global economy,” Durbin said. “This August 2nd deadline could be a disaster — if you think the shutdown of the government threat was a serious one . . . as of August 3rd, we’ll face a month with $172 billion in revenue and $306 billion in expenditures.
 
“Whom do we pay? Social Security? Medicare? The troops? Federal employees? Vendors to the Department of Defense, who are sustaining our troops overseas? These are critical issues that are really on the table for this August 2nd deadline,” said Durbin, a member of the Gang of Six, which has been working to devise a bipartisan plan.
 
Host Joe Scarborough noted that Congress is about to go on recess, but if it wasn’t and all relevant members continued working on an agreement, there at least would be some progress. Durbin countered that he does not agree with the premise.
 
“If we had every committee of the Senate and the House meeting today, they wouldn’t have a roadmap as to an agreement,” the Illinois Democrat said. “We need a basic understanding and agreement. I believe everything — underline the word everything — should be on the table, and both parties ought to accept it.
 
“For my party, it means taking a hard look at the entitlement programs, for the Republicans, it means the dreaded word revenue, or taxes,” he said. “We’ve got to put both of them on the table and be honest with the American people.”
 

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