August 2nd is almost upon us. That's the day when the Treasury Department will begin to default on its debts if the debt ceiling is not raised. Congress is embroiled in a higly partisan debate about what is the proper way to raise increase the borrowing capacity of he United States.
Illinois politicians, not surprisingly, fall along party lines. What follows is a sampling of ideological quips from the most prominent:
Rep. Adam Kinzinger(R-11th) - "The overspending of congresses before us and of the president has brought us to a point where we need to recognize that yeah we probably have to pay for that by raising the debt ceiling, however we've got to get ourselves on a fiscal trajectory," Kinzinger said on Meet the Press. He continued saying, "We've spent too much."
U. S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D) – “The failure of the United States to extend its debt ceiling will be catastrophic,” Durbin said in mid-July when addressing the press in DC. We’d say that sums up his opinion on the issue pretty well. He calls for a bipartisan agreement in extending the ceiling. “If they bring this economy down, they’ve broken it, and they own it,” he said when discussing Republicans who disagree with extending the debt ceiling
U.S Sen. Mark Kirk (R) – “I am in favor of the big deal, the bipartisan deficit reduction. That’s a $4.5 trillion drop in borrowing,” Kirk said this week.
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (R-3rd) – “I have repeatedly called for a responsible deficit reduction plan to accompany an increase in the debt ceiling.” Just two months ago, Lipinski voted against a bill, which raised the debt limit, but did not make spending cuts. He would like to see the debt ceiling increase and pay cuts go hand in hand in a bipartisan agreement.
Rep Aaron Schock (R-18th) - "Our nation has been on the fast track to economic ruin with out of control spending," Schock said in a statement released in April referencing the debt ceiling. He continued saying, "This crushing level of debt will cause children to have lower standards of living and fewer opportunites than their parents for the first time in American history."
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-8th) – “President Obama, quit lying. You know darn well that if August 2nd comes and goes, there is plenty of money to pay off our debt and cover all social security obligations,” Walsh said in a video that he released last week. He goes on to compare Obama’s spending habits to a “drunken sailor”. Maybe he should have gone with a press release instead?
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-5th) – Last week Quigley read a 1983 Reagan letter to Congress regarding the consequences of defaulting. Reagan was a Republican (beginning in 1962), but he riased the debt ceiling 18 times while president and agreed to numerous tax increases. Quigley believes current Republicans should take a pragmatic lesson from their favorite president.
Rep. Tim Johnson (R-15th)– Johnson opposes raising the debt limit. Since 2005, he has voted against it every time. “We have seen under President Obama and the Democratic leadership, the largest budget deficits in the history of our country. Now they want to increase our borrowing again without even a nod to the notion of living within our means,” Johnson said in a press release sent out in late May.
Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-17th) – “The President’s request for a straight debt ceiling increase, one without any spending cuts or reforms, is simply a non – starter,” Schilling released in a statement in late May. “Congress has raised the debt ceiling 51 times since 1978, and look where we are today,” he said when addressing congress last Tuesday. Schilling emphasizes again and again the need to cut spending and supports the Cut, Cap, Balance Act.
Rep. Bob Dold (R-10th) - "It's talking a big bold bipartisan plan," Dold told Chris Jansing on MSNBC when speaking about the Gang of Six plan. He later went on to reference $3.7 trillion in spending cuts and tax reform as items he wished to see accomplished in a plan to combat reaching the debt ceiling.