Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee predicts that despite a two-week extension to keep government operational an eventual shutdown is almost inevitable. “Yes, I am predicting that,” Lee Tuesday told Fox News’ Neal Cavuto.
“There is going to be a lot of contention over this. But whether we are extending two weeks at a time, or whether we are extending it a year at a time, unless or until we address the problem and we restrict Congress’ ability to spend that much, this problem is going to continue,” Lee said.
Lee said “the time has come for some difficult choices” and that is why he is pushing for a balanced-budget amendment, because unless Congress is forced to slash spending, many won’t have the political desire to make needed cuts.
“Until Congress restricts its own ability to spend, it’s not going to,” Lee said, adding that unless further spending cuts are in the offing, he would vote against raising the debt ceiling. “We will continue to spend, as long as we continue to authorize ourselves to spend more than we have.
“And, we have kicked this can far enough down the road,” he continued. “Every time we kick it, it gets more painful and the next time we kick it, it could kill us.
“Look, according to the president’s own numbers, which are pretty optimistic, by the end of this decade, we will be spending close to a trillion dollars a year, just in interest,” Lee said. “That’s more than we spend on Social Security — more than Medicare and Medicaid combined.”
Cavuto then asked what the “Kabuki theater” of a two-week extension is all about.
“I am not sure, to be honest, I really don’t know” Lee responded. “Because to extend two weeks of government funding, but to still extend it at a rate — on an annualized basis — puts us at spending $1.5 trillion a year more than we have, is just prolonging the problem.
“It’s as if we are out there trimming the bushes in front of the house that’s burning, and we’re saying: ‘Isn’t this lovely?’”
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