Conrad, Corker Hesitant on Debt Ceiling Deal

Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) are expressing concern over the deal that might be cut by the Biden-led debt ceiling negotiations.

Senator Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said that cutting $2.4 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years does not go far enough to curb borrowing and help the economy:

“A $2 trillion package sounds big, but I think most serious observers would tell you that it takes a package of at least $4 trillion to fundamentally change the trajectory we’re on,” Conrad said. “In the context of our debt, which is nearly $15 trillion and is headed for $25 trillion, $2 trillion over 10 years does not do the job.”

Considering that the debt ceiling would be raised $2.4 trillion over the next 18 months, cutting $2.4 trillion over 10 years just doesn’t add up. Senator Corker expressed similar opposition:

“I’m concerned that the type of deal that they may be trying to seek is not something that many of us in this body would even agree to if they reached it, meaning that it’s far more modest than I think most of us have been looking at.”

Sen. Corker called on the commission to “publicly tell us by the end of next week what deal it is they’re trying to accomplish, and in what timeframe.”

Frustrations are growing high and there have been some discussions on whether Congress should pursue a short-term deal.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) both rejected the idea:

“I don’t see how multiple votes on a debt-ceiling increase can help get us to where we want to go,” Cantor said. “We want big reforms. We want big spending cuts and big changes to how this town works. .  . . If we can’t make the tough decisions now, why would we be making those tough decisions later?”

This all comes back to how much politicians are willing to sacrifice to get our country back on track. Many conservatives felt as though they were let down earlier this year when only $38 billion was cut from the 2011 budget before a government shutdown.  Cutting $2 trillion over 10 years could similarly let down fiscal conservatives.

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