Sen. Tom Coburn, one of the GOP members of the bipartisan “gang of six,” said Sunday that President Barack Obama would have no choice but to sign a short-term debt limit increase if it crosses his desk.
“That’s a ridiculous position,” Coburn responded, “because that’s what he’s going to get presented with.”
“I understand why they’re saying they won’t sign a short-term [deal], but I don’t think they have a choice,” he added.
Congressional leaders and the White House are negotiating a deficit reduction package to accompany a debt limit increase before the Aug. 2 default deadline, and the Senate gang of six put forward a plan last week to cut about $4 trillion from the deficit over 10 years.
Coburn said Sunday that he is confident a deal will be struck by the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling.
Revenues have been a major sticking point in the negotiations. Coburn said a tax increase would not be ideal, but he could back a plan that removes tax credits such as those for ethanol or wind energy.
“I would vote for a compromise,” he said, “provided you get significant changes to the real problem that is facing us, which is the waste and the duplication and the fraud in government programs, and reforms to entitlements.”
On January 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., raises her right hand as her son Henry messes up her hair while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., delivers the ceremonial swearing-in in the Old Senate Chamber. Gillibrand's other son Theodore, lower right, looks on.
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.