Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) emphasized today that Republicans need to fight any attempt to increase the debt ceiling, saying that Republicans are being “blackmailed” by the Democrats’ threat of a government shutdown.
“We have to stop this [increasing the debt limit], and so I think this is a time where we insist on the balanced budget amendment. We should not be frightened by the fact that oh, we’re going to shut the government down,” DeMint said in an interview with Sean Hannity this afternoon, adding that he does not want a government shutdown.
“We have to come up with cuts in spending. … The debt ceiling vote is a place where I think we have to draw the line,” he remarked. While DeMint acknowledged that many Republicans who were present for the 1995 government shutdown are “so afraid” of a repeat, he was adamant that voters “want us to take a stand” on the debt ceiling.
“We’ve got to look long term and short term,” said DeMint about possible spending cuts, stressing the need to go back to the 2008 levels of spending. “We need to look into every area of discretionary spending,” he added, citing education and transportation as potential areas for spending cuts. Thinking long-term, DeMint said lawmakers “need to look at things like Paul Ryan’s Roadmap” and its approach to Medicare and Social Security.