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House Republicans appear more than willing to destroy the “full faith and credit” rating of the United States to force their demands for massive spending cuts and budget reforms on Democrats and President Barack Obama.
House Majority Leader made that clear Wednesday when he laid down the gauntlet to Democrats: No debt limit increase without “major spending cuts or budget process reforms.”
The Virginia Republican makes is clear that he is willing to put America’s credit standing on the line to get what he and his right-wing followers in the House want: Total capitulation by Democrats on spending and budget issues. Instead of a government shutdown — narrowly averted with a last minute, six-month spending package earlier this month — Cantor is now using the threat of default is Republicans don’t get their way.
Democrats are firing back.
“Congress will not permit the nation to default on its obligations because it would be beyond irresponsible to do so,” Brian Fallon, spokesman for New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, told Politico in a prepared statement. “Leader Cantor knows this, and he should heed the many business leaders who are telling Republicans to stop playing games with the debt ceiling to gain political leverage.”
But a scorched earth policy is an tried-and-true GOP tactic when it comes to using a national crisis for political advantage and Cantor is willing to send America’s fragile economy into another nose dive if an agreement is not reached on increasing the debt limit.
According to the Treasury Department, the United States will hit its debt ceiling sometime between mid-May and July 8. The country took a hit on the international credit markets this week when Standard and Poor changed its rating on U.S. debt from “stable” to “negative.”