ABC’s Sherisse Pham (@Sherisse) reports:
The bipartisan budget talks may be unraveling at the seams (and then there were four!) but the deadline to lift the debt ceiling has not budged. If, that is, you believe in such a deadline.
“Revenues are still coming in it’s not like the world ends on August 2nd,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said on ABC’s Top Line.
That August date is, of course, the deadline for lifting the debt ceiling. But the congressman insisted that there is “always time to do the right thing,” pointing to previous deadline warnings from Treasury Secretary Geithner that past without incident.
“Secretary Geithner initially sent a letter to congress in January saying that we had to raise the debt ceiling in the first quarter,” said Jordan. “Obviously we’re past that, then he said it was May 16th, obviously we’re past that, so we have some time to do the right thing.”
There may be time, but it appears members of the bipartisan budget talks are running out of patience. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., abruptly pulled out of the talks, led by Vice President Joe Biden, on Thursday. The lone Republican left in the group will soon follow; Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., will drop out later today, a source within the senator’s office told ABC News.
Cantor left because he said the group was at an impasse over tax increases; Democrats want them in the deal, he said, but here is no support in the Republican-led House for a tax increase.
“I think this just shows that the Democrats are on the wrong page,” said Jordan. “And we’re going to, we’re going to stick to the idea that Americans understand we’ve got to – we’ve got a spending problem in this town not a revenue problem.”
Jordan signed a debt pledge pushed by conservative activist group Let Freedom Ring. The pledge, announced Wednesday, seeks to cut spending, cap spending as a percentage of the GDP, and do a balanced budget amendment of the constitution.
Americans don’t want to see the debt ceiling increase, said Colin Hanna, of Let Freedom Ring.
“They [want] a permanent solution,” said Hanna, “That’s why cuts alone, even long term significant cuts in mandatory programs are not going to be enough, they’ve got to achieve permanence and that’s why this three-step program brings us towards permanence, short-term, mid-term, long-term.”
The message to Washington and Americans, say Jordan and Hanna, is that the country has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
A balanced budget packet is still in the works, but Jordan said he already knows what will turn him off.
“We have to see the package, but I will tell you this: No, [it’s] not going to pass in the house if there are tax increases. No.”