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.”