While most members of Congress admit the upcoming Oct. 17 debt ceiling deadline will be a serious problem if the U.S. government defaults, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) recently downplayed the dangers of the debt ceiling.
“The debt ceiling and the CR (Continuing Resolution) are the same thing. There is no such thing as a debt ceiling in this country because it’s never been not increased. And that’s why we’re $17 trillion in debt,” claimed Sen. Coburn on CBS News This Morning (video below).
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“And I would dispel the rumor that’s 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. We’ll continue to pay our interest. We’ll continue to redeem bonds, and we’ll issue new bonds to replace those,” added Sen. Coburn, noted RawStory.com.
Rep. Barton (R-Texas) told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday (video below) that he supports not raising the debt ceiling and said the solution was not paying “every bill the day it comes in," noted ThinkProgress.org.
“We have in my household budget some bills that have to be paid and some bills that are only paid partially. I think paying interest on the debt has to be paid. I think paying Social Security payments have to be paid. I don’t think paying the secretary of energy’s travel expenses have to be paid 100 cents on the dollar," said Rep. Barton.
"...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.”
However, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told CNN on Sunday: “If the United States government, for the first time in its history, chooses not to pay its bills on time, we will be in default. I’m telling you that on the 17th, we run out of our ability to borrow, and Congress is playing with fire.”