Where Mid-South lawmakers stand on cutting the budget, raising the debt ceiling

WASHINGTON — The Mid-South delegation in Congress is all over the map when it comes to the debt ceiling deadline approaching Aug. 2.

Some, spurred by conservative constituents who elected a Republican House last November, insist the nation’s credit limit must be tied to steep reductions in future spending.

Others endorse raising the limit without major quid pro quos. Here are their responses to a request Tuesday from The Commercial Appeal:

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. — “I think the president certainly has drawn a line in the sand and I hope he doesn’t end up dragging things out with vetoes that end up taking up a lot of time here in the Senate and producing no result. I think the majority leader (Harry Reid) has taken a personal interest in this issue, too. I get the impression from him that he thinks the president’s stretched out some of his arguments to provoke a fight with the Republican members of Congress… I’m voting against the debt ceiling — against increasing it or extending it.”

Sen. Roger F. Wicker, R-Miss. —”Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid came to a bipartisan agreement on Sunday to deal with the crisis, but the President rejected it without offering any plan publicly (and) With the federal government borrowing 40 cents for every dollar we spend, we must cut spending in a meaningful way, but the President continues to oppose a workable solution.”

U.S. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss. — “Our nation is one of a few in the world with a constitutionally mandated debt ceiling. I support an increase in the debt ceiling so that the nation can pay its bills on time. While many in the Republican Party are willing to sacrifice the full faith and credit of the United States in the name deficit reduction, I am confident that a responsible solution gets rid of waste and fraud in government programs while ending tax loopholes for the wealthiest. The President had it right when he said an approach that only considers ways to eliminate programs won’t work.”

U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss. — “I have decided to support the Budget Control Act. This plan, while not perfect, honors the principles of Cut, Cap and Balance that I support. If this bill becomes law it cuts spending immediately, places caps on future spending, effectively saving $1.2 trillion over 10 years, and guarantees a straight up or down vote in the U.S. Senate on a Balanced Budget Amendment. President Obama vigorously opposes this bill. So much so that he held a prime time address to the nation. Even with the President’s opposition to Cut, Cap and Balance, we must move forward with this plan to put our nation on a path to economic stability.”

Commercial Appeal
7/26/11