Texas’ senior Senator reassures us that Republicans won’t destroy the global economy in order to gain political leverage.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, said in Houston Thursday that Congress will not allow an impasse over raising the debt ceiling to result in the federal government defaulting on its spending obligations.
“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board.
Cornyn said that paying bills on a pro rata basis or delaying payment on some bills until the debt ceiling issue is resolved may be possible, “but my hope would be that we would not even go there.”
In an opinion piece in the Chronicle last week, Cornyn wrote that shutting down parts of government may be necessary if the White House and Congress cannot agree on a deal to slash spending.
“It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain,” he wrote. “President Obama needs to take note of this reality and put forward a plan to avoid it immediately.”
The senator did not provide details, either in the article or in his interview with the editorial board, about what areas of the government might be shuttered or for how long. He frequently has said, however, that Republicans should use the debt ceiling and the forthcoming debate over the continuing resolution necessary to finance government as leverage to cut spending on entitlement programs.
Cornyn, asked whether his statement Thursday represented a change of position from the views expressed in the op-ed, said the article represented something of a negotiating ploy.
“You sometimes try to inject a little doubt in your negotiating partner about where you’re going to go, but I would tell you unequivocally that we’re not going to default,” he said.
And so after Cornyn’s retreat from his earlier threat, the Chron saw fit to give him a wet, sloppy kiss for acting all statesmanlike and stuff. I can only hope that the part of their conversation that led to his admission went along Blues Brothers lines:
“You lied to me.”
“It wasn’t a lie, it was just bullshit.”
I haven’t figured out how to work Carrie Fischer and James Brown into it, but it’s a start.