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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.