Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) On A Vote To Raise The Debt Ceiling: “I Will Not Go There Willingly Again”

By Cullen Dirner

Jan 4, 2011 3:54pm

ABC News' Amy Walter reports: One of the many potential hot-button issues the new Congress could face is a vote to raise the debt ceiling, which is currently about $500 million short from the current $14.3 trillion limit. And, there are plenty of Republicans who don’t like the prospect of doing this one bit. Rep. Michael Burgess (R- TX) told ABC News' Top Line that “I have voted for it [to raise the debt limit] in the past and it was one of the worst things I ever did in my life. I will not go there willingly again.” Burgess, like many of his Republican colleagues, wants to see significant cuts in spending before he makes any vote on raising the debt ceiling. “I think we should use this as an opportunity to really begin to get our arms around the amount of federal spending. ” Burgess said, “I understand that this is our opportunity to really get some meaningful change in the way this country spends its tax dollars. And the president has to be willing to work with us.” In an interview last Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee warned that defaulting on our debt would be “unprecedented” and “catastrophic.” Burgess, however, notes that “talk about not voting on the debt limit, not talking about the debt limit, it could threaten the stability of the Republic, I submit to you the level of debt we’re carrying right now does threaten the very fabric of our Republic.”

As for the fate of the President’s health care reform law, Burgess predicted that the January 12 vote in the House to repeal the law entirely will not only succeed but that “the numbers will startle some people.”

While many observers expect the House bill to go nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, Burgess made clear that there’s plenty his committee can do to keep the pressure on the administration.

“Don’t forget, we have a subcommittee of Oversight Investigations on Energy and Commerce in my committee,” said Burgess.  “One of the things we need to do, we haven’t done, since the bill was passed is have any of the people into the committee to talk about some of these new regulations and some of these new things that are going to be happening to real people as a consequence of the President signing this law. We’re going to be doing things we’ve never done as a federal government before and I think people need to know about the implications of that.”

Also joining the show was NDN President Simon Rosenberg who argues that this incoming GOP class is much more “radical and reactionary” than any in previous history. 

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