GOP Senators Shrug Off Debt-Limit Date

by Andrew Stiles

Republicans appear to be increasingly dismissive of the October 17 deadline the White House has set for when the federal debt limit must be raised to avoid an economic disaster. Even relative moderates such as Senators Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) and Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) are shrugging it off.

“I do think it is an important date, and I don’t want to minimize that,” Corker told reporters when asked about the October 17 deadline, before adding: “Is that the real date? No.” The government likely has until around November 1 before the situation becomes “problematic,” he said, based on his discussion with financial leaders across the country. 

Corker also shrugged off concerns about the volatility in financial markets due to uncertainty over the debt limit. ”That’s a part of what happens when you get close to a deadline,” he said. ”That’s not my concern. My concern is that we do something constructive that’s good for our nation.”

Hatch, who referred to Jack Lew as “one of the most partisan, political secretaries of the Treasury that I’ve seen,” slammed Democrats for their refusal to take up a House-passed bill to prioritize debt payment to avoid default. “The fact of the matter is, there are going to be some parts of the government that are going to be hurt if we don’t get this resolved,” he said. ”There are some that I think we could live without, too.”

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