McConnell: Would the President Really ‘Veto the Nation Into Default for Political Reasons?’

Jul 27, 2011 11:34am

ABC News' Sunlen Miller (@SunlenMiller) reports:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reiterated today on the Senate floor his “strong support” for Speaker of the House John Boehner’s debt plan and blasted President Obama for threatening a potential veto should the plan pass both in the House and the Senate.

“The White House issued a statement of administration policy which said that when the legislation Speaker Boehner is now revising reaches the president's desk, unnamed senior advisors will recommend that the president veto I have a question for those senior advisors what about this legislation is so offensive that you'd rather see the nation default on its debts than have the sign president it into law?”

The White House issued a veto threat yesterday against the deficit reduction bill being offered by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, saying that were it to be “presented to the president, the president’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill.”

House Republicans point out that the threat that “the president’s senior advisers would recommend” a veto is not the strongest one — perhaps leaving open a little wiggle room.

On the Senate floor today, just six days before the Aug. 2 deadline for action to increase the nation’s debt ceiling,  McConnell questioned if the optics the White House wants to send is: “do they really intend to suggest that he veto the nation into default for political reasons?”

Again, McConnell questioned where the president’s plan is – noting that “Congress can’t vote on a speech, and a veto threat won’t prevent default.”


I remain as committed as ever to resolving this crisis in a way that will allow us to avoid default without raising taxes and to cut spending without budget gimmicks. There’s only one option that does that, and that's the one Speaker Boehner has proposed and that is being improved as we speak.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., took advantage of Speaker Boehner’s setback with yesterday’s CBO score of the House plan yesterday, quipping that Boehner pushed back the vote by one day, “because his legislation didn’t even have the support of Republicans in his own chamber.” 

But he said that no one needs to “worry” about the Boehner plan because it will not pass in the Senate. 

“But pushing back the vote by a day or rewriting parts of it won't solve the underlying problem a short-term solution is not an adequate solution for our economy,” Reid said, “Even if the speaker could get his legislation through the House of Representatives, I can assure everyone, Madam President, that it wouldn't pass the senate and certainly, if by some strange phenomenon it passed, the president wouldn't sign it.” 

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