ABC News' Sherisse Pham (@sherisse) reports: Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., isn’t mincing words: He flat out told one of his constituents that if lawmakers – himself included – fail to pass a budget in time and resolve the ongoing debt debate, everyone should be canned.
“If we don’t get this fixed, all of us – all of us – ought to get fired,” the senator told ABC’s Jonathan Karl. Warner was responding to a concern raised by one of his constituents, Peggy Lemons of Richmond, Virginia.
You can watch more of the interview HERE.
Lemons told ABC News that she fears the consequences if the United States fails to pay its debt.
“It frightens me to no end,” said Lemons, “I have to pay my bills and my debt every month. Can I have a debate over it? No. I have to pay my debt. Our country needs to pay the debt.”
Sounds like common sense, but things don’t always make sense on Capitol Hill. Both sides are digging their heels in on this debate. Several Democratic lawmakers say they will not budge on cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, and many Republican lawmakers refuse to consider raising taxes to increase revenue.
But at the end of the day, surely the United States has to pay its bills? Posing that question to Warner is like preaching to the choir.
“Amen,” said the Virginia senator. “And what statement does that make when we’ve got some members of Congress that say, ‘Hey this debt ceiling, it doesn’t matter if we default.’ What does that say to families and businesses that have to pay their bills every month if the United States government says: tough?”
Warner also took aim at presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann. R-Minn.
“We’ve got presidential candidates out there saying, ‘Hey, if America defaults, this is just a big scam.’ Well that’s just irresponsible beyond belief,” said Warner.
In a campaign ad released earlier this month, Bachmann said she would vote against a debt limit increase.
For his part, Warner said he is “taking arrows” from fellow colleagues for considering cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
“We got to be willing to look at entitlement reform, that will mean cutting back on some of those programs so that they still exist,” he said.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the deadline to raise the debt ceiling is August 2nd. A failure to do so would lead to the United States defaulting on its debt, and, most likely, a subsequent downgrade of the credit rating of the country.
If Warner’s concerns come to light, and representatives from the red and blue parties can’t find a way to resolve the debt issue, then Americans will start sending their lawmakers pink slips come August 3rd.