In a growing threat to the fiscal solvency of the nation, Republican opposition to raising the national debt ceiling is hardening. In the past few weeks, a number of GOPers have begun to toe the Tea Party line and declared that they will vote against any increase in the national debt ceiling, including old stalwarts like Reps. Jack Kingston (R-GA), Ron Paul (R-TX), and Jerry Lewis (R-CA), as well as new members like Reps.-elect Tim Scott (R-SC) and Jeff Denham (R-CA).
The latest freshman to come out against raising the debt ceiling is Rep.-elect Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), who defeated longtime House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-SC) in November. Echoing Ron Paul, who declared on Thursday that a government shutdown would not “hurt one bit,” Mulvaney told The Hill that he would vote against “any attempt to raise the nation’s debt ceiling” because he is unaware of any “negative consequences” that would result:
Rep.-elect Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), who defeated current House Budget Chairman John Spratt (D-S.C.) in November, said he would vote against any attempt to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
“I have heard people say that if we don’t do it will be the end of the world,” he said. “I have yet to meet someone who can articulate the negative consequences.”
Mulvaney said that this year, 2011 spending needs to be reduced to 2008 discretionary levels, and argued that the demise of the omnibus offers that opportunity.
While it’s unclear if Mulvaney is being purposefully obtuse or simply sticking his head in the sand, his quandary can be answered by looking at the last time Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling. According to a recent report from the Center for American Progress, here were some of the results:
- The government was shut down for nearly four weeks
- The entire episode cost taxpayers over $800 million
- Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid checks were not sent out
- International confidence in U.S. government bonds was shaken
- All non-essential government employees were sent home without pay
- National parks and other federally-funded services were closed
ThinkProgress reached out to Mulvaney’s office to see whether the congressmen-elect was joining at least seven of his GOP colleagues in supporting a possible government shutdown. We have not yet heard back, but we will post an update if we do.
On Fox News moments ago, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) said “the key time is early next year leading up to the debt limit vote,” and “Republicans in Congress are going to demand major change.” He added, “Big things are either going to happen or not happen in a fairly obvious, dramatic way in the first quarter [of next year]…and the moment that it’s all leading up to is this next increase in the debt limit.” Watch it: