Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said that the prospect of a partial government shutdown is “a hell of a lot better” than allowing President Obama to spend more money or raise taxes.
“Our opportunity here is on the debt ceiling,” Toomey said today on Morning Joe. “The president has made it very clear: he doesn’t even want to have a discussion about it, because he knows this is where we have leverage. We Republicans need to be willing to tolerate a temporary partial government shutdown –which is what that could mean — and insist that we get off the road to Greece because that’s the road we’re on right now.”
“A temporary disruption because we have to furlough the workers at the Department of Education or close down the national parks or not cut the grass on the Mall — that’s not optimal, it’s disruptive, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the path that we’re on,” Toomey added.
The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll explained what would happen if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. “[S]ince the federal government is constantly taking in more money in taxes than it owes in debt service, there is zero danger the U.S. will default on its debt,” Conn wrote this morning. “But everyone else who gets payments from the federal government will be in danger of not getting paid. Since the federal government plays such a large role in economic affairs this will create chaos in the U.S. economy until the issue is resolved.”
Because the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in three years, Congress has funded government through continuing resolutions, the most recent of which is set to expire in a couple months. If that expires without another deal, then the shutdown Toomey mentioned would take place.
“[Obama] got a $2 trillion debt limit increase just 17 months ago — blew through all that,” Toomey said. “We will only solve this problem when we finally get the spending under control. And the debt ceiling, and after that, the continuing resolution expiration — those are the vehicles that give us the opportunity to insist on making progress on the real problem.”