Debt commission co-chairman predicts ‘bloodbath’
A leader of President Obama’s bipartisan deficit-reduction commission on Friday predicted that there will be a « bloodbath » on Capitol Hill next year when lawmakers consider increasing the nation’s debt ceiling, which could force both parties to take their recommendations seriously.
With the federal debt hovering around $13.7 trillion and the debt limit at $14.3 trillion, Congress is expected to increase the country’s credit line next spring. But with Sen-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and others leading the charge against an increase, the proposal’s success could hinge on leaders trading promises of future cuts in exchange for votes.
« When debt limit times comes, they are going to look around and say, ‘What in the hell do we do now? We’ve got guys who will not approve the debt-limit extension unless we give them a piece of meat,’ » Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator and co-chairman of the president’s commission, told reporters gathered for a breakfast discussion hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. « The bloodbath will be extraordinary. »
Earlier this year, the Democrat-led Congress raised the debit limit to $14.3 trillion, a $1.9 trillion increase that allowed the government to borrow the additional money to keep the government going into next year. The vote provided Republicans with ammunition on the campaign trail, where they attacked the decision as an example of Democrats’ wild spending habits.