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Default Deniers: Republicans Downplay and Dismiss Impact Of Missing Debt Deadline

Oct 10, 2013


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Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R-SD):

"There's money coming in every day. We get about $8 billion in every day, about $250 billion or $260 billion every month. Obviously, we have bills to pay. But you know, clearly, trying to create this sense of scare out there among the financial markets and among the American people is completely at odds with what the facts are." [Fox News, 10/9/13]

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI):

"The Treasury secretary should be calming the markets, saying, 'Guys, we have more than enough tax revenue coming in,' " Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) said." There's no reason for the U.S. to default on its debt at all." [WSJ, 10/9/13]

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO):

A number of Republicans have said this isn't true. "Default is when you don't pay your loan," said Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.). "Prioritizing how you pay your bills is prioritizing how you pay your bills." [WSJ, 10/9/13]

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC):

"You gotta take Jack Lew at his word, but from the standpoint of [whether] that puts us in default, technically, no," said North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr. "The federal government still has about 85 percent of the revenues we spend coming in, and all they have to do is prioritize that they're gonna pay debt service first. And that leaves some prioritization for federal programs. I'm not as concerned as the president is on the debt ceiling, because the only people buying our bonds right now is the Federal Reserve. So it's like scaring ourselves." [Slate, 10/7/13]

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK):

"I would dispel the rumor that is going around that you hear on every newscast that if we don't raise the debt ceiling we will default on our debt. We won't." [Politico, 10/7/13]

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX):

"What would happen if the debt ceiling isn't raised is ... a partial government shutdown," incoming Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said last week on conservative talk radio, praising Republicans who shut down the government in 1995 and encouraging them to do the same with the debt debate. [Politico, 1/16/13]

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA):

"No treasury secretary or president would actually default on the debt, even if they couldn't borrow more money." [Politico, 1/16/13]

Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-AZ):

"To say that the federal government would not have enough money incoming to the treasury to cover our debt expenses is irresponsible and disingenuous." [Letter to Secretary Lew, 10/8/13]

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS):

"Secretary Lew talked about October 17th being this magic date. It's absolutely not a magic date. I was in business before I came here just a little less than three years ago. Lots of businesses make decisions about how to prioritize spending. The government will do that, too. There's plenty of cash flow to pay interest payments come October 17th. And if the president chooses not to do that, it would be a terrible mistake. And I think cooler heads inside the administration would prevail, so the risk of October being some date where there's this cataclysmic event is just zero." [Fox Business News, 10/8/13]

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL):

"We have 10 times as much tax revenue as we've got annual interest on the debt obligations," Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said in an interview, offering the key talking point of the debt limit denial caucus. "So if the president does not want us to default on our credit or obligations, we won't." [Politico, 10/9/13]

RSC Chairman Steve Scalise (R-LA):

"The only person in town who can cause default is President Barack Obama." [Politico, 10/9/13]

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL):

"I think we'll always service our debt so that we never default on our sovereign debt." [ABC News, 10/8/13]

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX):

"We don't know, we haven't ever done it." [ABC News, 10/8/13]

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX):

"This talk about default by the U.S. treasury is nonsense. The President can be smart or the president can be stupid. And I would assume as smart as President Obama is when push comes to shove, he'll be smart. So we are not going to default on the public debt. But that doesn't mean that we have to pay every bill the day it comes in." [CNBC, 10/7/13]

Rep. Steve King (R-IA):

"I don't think the credit of the United States is going to be collapsed. I think that all this talk about a default has been a lot of... false demagoguery." [CNN, 10/3/13]

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC):

"We're not going to default; there is no default." [National Journal, 10/6/13]

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI):

"What I hear from them is, 'If you're not paying everything on time that's a default.' And that's not the traditionally understood definition." [National Journal, 10/6/13]

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS):

"Nobody thinks we're going to default on Oct. 17th." [National Journal, 10/6/13]

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL):

 "I'm not going to raise the debt ceiling." ... "I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets," since they would be assured that the United States had moved decisively to curb its debt. [Washington Post, 10/4/13]

 Rep. John Fleming (R-LA):

"Technically, it's not possible to default because there's always enough revenue to cover the interest. If we defaulted it was because the president chose to default, not because we ran out of money." Fleming said "nothing happens" if the debt ceiling is reached. [Politico, 9/17/13]

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR):

He said he is more concerned about the "cataclysmic" consequences of inaction than the "short-term market corrections" of default. "I'd like to take the medicine now," he said. [Politico, 1/8/13]

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL):

"In fact, our credit rating should be improved by not raising the debt ceiling." [Washington Post, 7/14/11]

Is it really time for a whale of a fight over the debt ceiling?