Sen. Jim DeMint, who is leading a hard-line band of Senate Republicans against raising the debt ceiling unless a constitutional amendment passes Congress, dismissed the threat of a default Sunday.
“We’re not going to default,” the South Carolina Republican said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” adding that White House budget director Jacob Lew didn’t say in interviews Sunday that the country would not be able to pay interest on the debt if the ceiling is not raised Aug. 2. Some government obligations would not be paid, Lew said.
DeMint put the pressure to meet the Treasury Department’s August deadline on Democrats, saying it would be up to them to decide whether to agree to the balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and to the Republican “cut, cap and balance” proposal.
“We’ve got to draw a line in the sand now, because the day of reckoning is gonna come, and the longer we put it off, the bigger the problems are gonna be for our country,” he said.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.