For months, leading Republicans have been threatening to hold the entire global economy hostage by stating their intentions to vote against increasing the debt ceiling — a regular and usually uncontroversial process that occurred eight times under the previous president — unless Democrats agree to painful cuts in popular and effective programs like Social Security.
But during a speech before the Tulsa Metro Chamber yesterday, one congressional Republican made it clear that he thinks it is of paramount importance to vote to raise the debt ceiling and avert catastrophe for the U.S. and global economies. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) said he won’t throw the country out onto the street by joining those in his party who want to vote against raising the debt limit:
Congress risks igniting a worldwide financial crisis if it does not raise the federal debt limit when the current ceiling is reached sometime next month, 3rd District Congressman Frank Lucas said Monday.
“There will be an increase in the deficit,” Lucas said. “We cannot trigger what will come from not being able to pay our bills. [...] “I won’t throw the country into the street,” Lucas said. “I believe we can come together and reach an agreement.”
In staking out a position advocating for raising the debt ceiling, Lucas is separating himself from Republicans like Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who have both pledged to vote against any increase in the debt limit. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have also emphasized the importance of raising the debt ceiling, although both have called for certain concessions in exchange.