Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Monday said that she would be willing force a “thoughtful” shutdown of parts of the United States government if President Barack Obama did not agree to deep spending cuts.
“What we want to make certain is that this president, this administration, this bureaucracy realizes that kicking the can must stop,” she told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing. “It is spending cuts and it is imperative that we reduce the size of the federal government, that we get in on a mega-diet, that we end this out-of-control spending.”
“There is the option of government shutdown,” the Tennessee Republican continued. “There is an option of raising the debt ceiling in short-term increments… There’s also the plan of three dollars in cuts for every one dollar of debt limit increase. So, the healthy thing is this, we are having a good discussion on it.”
Jansing pointed to a study by the Bipartisan Policy Center which found that the government could continue to fund interest on the debt, Social Security, Medicare, food stamps during a shutdown — but it would mean that almost every other federal program would grind to a halt.
“[B]ut doing all that will mean defaulting on everything — really, everything — else,” The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein wrote last week. “The FBI will shut down. The people responsible for tracking down loose nukes will lose their jobs. The prisons won’t operate. The biomedical researchers won’t be funded. The court system will close its doors. The tax refunds won’t go out. The Federal Aviation Administration will go offline. The parks will close. Food safety inspections will cease.”
“I think that there is a way to avoid default,” Blackburn insisted. “If it requires shutting down certain portions of the government, let’s look at that. Let’s put these option on the table, be very thoughtful, but get this spending pattern broken. We cannot afford a $4 billion a day deficit and trillion dollar plus deficits every single year.”
“So, it requires thoughtfulness and it requires that we are going to have a plan to work through this. I think that’s where we as Republicans are headed.”
Watch this video from MSNBC’s Jansing & Co., broadcast Jan. 14, 2013.