Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Debt Ceiling Deadline? Not Rep. Allen West.

By Eliza

Jun 24, 2011 5:45pm

ABC News’ Sherisse Pham (@sherisse) reports:

In lock step with several Republican colleagues, Rep. Allen West said on “Top Line” today that a budget package with tax increases would be off the table for him. And as for missing that August 2nd deadline to raise the debt ceiling? That’s nothing to fear.

“You know, in my life in a combat zone, I've been in some pretty tough scrapes. I'm not afraid,” said West, a retired army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan

The White House and the Treasury Department warn that failing to raise the debt ceiling will result in economic catastrophe. But the prospect of a balanced budget before the August deadline is looking less and less likely as Republican lawmakers fled bipartisan budget talks led by Vice President Joe Biden this week.

Like many of his Republican colleagues, Rep. West said Washington does not have a revenue problem, but a spending problem, which is why he would prefer cuts to the federal government, and would vote against any package with tax increases.

“Why would I trust Washington, D.C. to get more tax payer dollars when they have not shown that they're going to be fiscally responsible?” said West.

Focusing on the August deadline, said West, is short-sighted.

“Once again, what we're talking about is in the near term, we'll make ourselves feel good but then I'll come back in about eight months, nine months and say, 'I gotta raise this debt limit again,' ” the congressman said.

Turning to the debate over President Obama’s authority for being in Libya, the retired army veteran said he does not support America’s presence in the troubled country.

“The president needs to specify what are the missions, what's the goal, what are the objectives in Libya. And then we can have that up or down vote once he makes that case,”said West.

“But for right now, I'm not supporting it,” he added.

West had a 22-year career with the United States army. He said his responsibility is to the “men and women who are in uniform.” But if push came to shove, he confirmed he would cut off funding for troops in Libya.  

“The president said there are no hostilities, so if I cut off funding to what? So I don't think it's a big deal, doing it.”

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