Republicans Set Conditions for Debt-Limit Vote

April 25, 2011

The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — Two Illinois Republicans said Sunday they aren’t buying the Obama administration’s argument that the federal debt limit ought to be raised without a fuss.

“I will vote ‘no’ on raising the debt ceiling unless we have comprehensive, dramatic, effective, and broad-based cuts to federal spending including the reform of entitlement spending,” said Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Kirk said raising the debt limit without substantial cuts “would risk repeating the mistakes of the governments of Greece, Portugal and Ireland — all who said ‘yes’ to everyone and ‘no’ to their economic future.”

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) also appeared on “Face the Nation” and said he thought the effects of not raising the debt limit wouldn’t be as bad as the Obama administration suggests.

“It is being overstated. The administration is playing politics with this issue like they’re playing politics with entitlement reform,” Walsh said.

He said Congress has the time to wait a few months on the debt ceiling vote, arguing that it has done so in the past and “Armageddon didn’t hit.”

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has warned lawmakers that their reluctance to raise the federal borrowing limit could cripple the nascent economic recovery.

Walsh said that lawmakers shouldn’t vote to raise the debt ceiling without fundamentally changing the way Washington works.

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