Special Topic

GOP Senators Get Cold Feet Over Standoff: ‘Maybe The Debt Ceiling Was The Wrong Place To Pick A Fight’

Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Bob Corker

As Republican attempts to hold the country hostage over raising the debt ceiling look increasingly likely to end in disaster, some GOP senators appear to be getting cold feet. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have both indicated they are rethinking the wisdom of tying a debt ceiling increase to a drastic deficit reduction package now that the country is on the brink of economic disaster:

Maybe the debt ceiling was the wrong place to pick a fight, as it related to trying to get our country’s house in order,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Thursday. “Maybe that was the wrong place to do it.”

Speaking from the Senate floor, Corker said Republicans demanded linking the two issues because the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than 800 days. “I credit both sides for that,” he said. But now, the inability of the White House and Congress to agree to a spending deal — and ensure a timely debt ceiling increase — is “helping our great nation go into decline.”

Meanwhile Graham, an influential member of the Republican caucus, “conceded Wednesday that he and his fellow Republicans are now eating their own words as they try to convince the country they are working to stave off a federal default”:

Our problem is we made a big deal about this for three months. How many Republicans have been on TV saying, ‘I’m not going to raise the debt limit.’ You know, Mitch [McConnell] says, ‘I’m not going to raise the debt limit unless we talk about Medicare.’ And I’ve said I’m not going to raise the debt limit until we do something about spending and entitlements.’ So we’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves,” Graham told reporters after a GOP caucus lunch.

“We shouldn’t have said that if we didn’t mean it.”

Talks between the White House and congressional Republicans have deadlocked with GOP leaders refusing to make any concessions to achieve a deal. As the country faces the very real possibility of defaulting, Americans are coming to terms with the major disruptions that outcome would have on the economy and their everyday lives. The government would not have nearly enough money to fund all essential programs and services like Social Security, Medicare, the military, border patrol agents, food inspectors, and student loans, so impossible choices will have to be made about what to cut. Nearly half of government activities could stop practically overnight.