Issa Will Vote to Raise Debt Ceiling

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On Fox Business Network, congressman says passage “inevitable” but must come with “real come-to-Jesus moment.”

On Romney: Issa “still looking,” says he’s got eye on Daniels, Barbour.


Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) spoke with FOX Business Network (FBN) about the last-minute budget deal, the trade deficit, and his view of what looms ahead for America. Regarding the budget deal, he said he is “happy with the change in direction” and that while “it is inevitable” that a vote to raise the debt ceiling will pass, it will need to be engendered by “a real come to Jesus moment.” He also addressed Donald Trump raising the Obama birther issue saying, “we don’t think that President Obama is good for America,” but “you don’t get rid of a President by checking for absence of a birth certificate.”


On if he will vote to raise the debt ceiling:
“It’s inevitable that it will pass. We will undoubtedly vote. I will vote to raise it. It does have to come with a real come-to-Jesus moment where we say what are we doing along with raising the debt ceiling. Are we making changes in how we raise and spend money or are we simply kicking the can down the road for our grandchildren? That’s the moment which we are hoping to use along with Paul Ryan’s budget, which we intend to pass in a timely fashion. But we have got to start talking about how we are going to spend less, not more.”

On if he is happy with the budget deal:
“I’m happy with the change in direction. I have been in Congress for 11 years. This is the first time we ever went down. As a matter of fact, this is the first time we have gone down since the end of World War II. It’s a change in the right direction toward smaller government and maybe, just maybe, not borrowing 40 cents on the dollar from foreign countries to try to pay for our overspending.”

On what the budget deal entails:
“What we agreed to do is spend $79 billion less this year than President Obama had slated in his request. Between the time of the request and the time we got this final deal done, which will be this Thursday that it’s voted on, we really were operating with a series of these continuing resolutions. There was no budget done last year; there was no series of appropriations done last year. Quite frankly, if we do it again this year, I hope they would vote us out of office. It’s really ridiculous not to vote the details of the budget and then the details of appropriations and last year was the first time that we failed to do a budget since 1974 when the Budget Act was passed.”

On his view of Donald Trump highlighting the birth certificate issue:
“The man is President. If Donald Trump wants to go back, that’s fine, that’s his decision. He may or may not be right. Most of us think that it’s not an issue. And that he is unlikely to prove that he wasn’t born in America. What we do care about is that we don’t think that President Obama is good for America. We would like to see him not get a second term. We would like to have a debate about what President Obama did wrong in his first two years and is still doing wrong in many cases. The truth is, you don’t get rid of a President by checking for absence of a birth certificate. You deny a president a second term because you don’t think it’s good for America for him to have a second term and, oh, by the way, you have got to find alternative. As entertaining as Donald Trump is, I’m hoping to find a Reagan-esque sort of an alternative, somebody who inspires us to do better but not spend more.”

On what exactly the debt ceiling is:
“The debt ceiling is simply the accumulation of these deficits and each time they raise it, they leave a little head room but bottom line is if you borrow $1.6 trillion from other people every year, you’re going to have to raise the debt ceiling by $1.6 Trillion. To put it in terms that we all deal with, if you run your credit cards all month, at the end of the month if you don’t have enough money to pay, you will have to roll some over. Well, we have been running our credit card at $1.6 Trillion every year now, or this year at least, more than we were taking in. That’s the inevitability of raising the debt ceilings. When it comes to that question of will we raise the debt ceiling or pay 60 cents on the dollar of what we owe to countries all over the world or to the American people, very clearly they don’t want you shutting off Social Security payments and Medicare payments and payments on the debt. What they do want us to do is to use that opportunity to reflect on what changes we need to make so we’re not back here year after year raising the debt ceiling by trillions of dollars.”

On what his goal is in resolving our debt:
“Our goal now that we have, as I like to say, one half of one third of the government is to try to moderate that. For every raise in the debt ceiling, which we must do, we must authorize the government to borrow money rather than simply default on its loans, we want to have institutional changes so that each time we have to raise the debt ceiling we lower the amount we are borrowing. We want to fundamentally change how government does business and this gets the Federal Government to live within its own budget, a budget that America can no longer afford to be as bloated as it is.”

On why we have a trade deficit of over $45 billion:
“The trade deficit has a lot to do with our desire to buy, unfortunately, an awful lot of goods made in China and awful lot of goods that are simply cheaper to buy elsewhere with lower cost labor and not enough of high tech items that we export, like aircraft and so on. The bigger concern though is that we’re borrowing even more than $45 billion from foreign markets every month. We have a $1.6 trillion deficit in the government and we’re borrowing that in real dollars from overseas. It used to be we worried about the trade deficit; I still do. But the trade deficit is about goods and services made by Americans to be sold to the rest of the world and not really as much about whether the government spends too much. The two do tend to run in parallel.”

On if Mitt Romney is his ideal presidential candidate:
“I’m still looking. I am looking at Haley Barbour. Mitch Daniels is someone I admired. He was one of the only fiscal conservatives that really tried in the Bush administration to reign in spending in the early days. He went on to be a really great governor. He was an unpopular governor at first when he was doing cutting but a popular governor today. And just like Scott Walker, you judge people not by the first thing they do but you judge them overtime. Mitch Daniels is somebody who clearly has stood the test of time. These and other candidates have to be given a chance. Remember, they laughed at the idea that old man Reagan was going to make it when he did. Ultimately, you don’t know about candidates until you get to Iowa and New Hampshire into debates that America gets to see. I’m hoping to have a lively debate on my side of the aisle. Obviously President Obama is hoping not to have any debate on his side of the aisle; incumbent presidents seldom want to be challenged by their own party.”

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