Congressional lawmakers are making efforts to hammer out a compromise on the U.S. budget as they face a Friday deadline. If an agreement is not reached by then, the government faces a shutdown. Appearing on MSNBC Monday morning, Sixth District Congressman Jim Clyburn says Democrats are not looking for a shutdown, but are seeking alternatives to cuts being pushed by their GOP colleagues.
We don’t want to see FBI agents laid off. We don’t want to see students losing their ability to go to school. What we would like to do is look at some alternatives like some of the oil and gas subsidies that the oil industry tells us they really don’t need and could well do without.
Friday House Republicans presented a proposal to cut $4 billion in federal spending as part of legislation to keep the government operating for two weeks past the March 4 deadline. That was after they originally proposed more than $60 billion in cuts for the year.
Clyburn says Democrats, like Republicans, are serious about making substantial cuts to make a significant dent in the deficit, but there is disagreement on the programs that should be cut or reduced. Clyburn says Democrats do not want a shutdown.
In fact, we agreed with the proposal put forth I think on Thursday or Friday by Republicans on the continued resolution that there ought to be a $4 billion additional cut on top of the $41 billion that we’ve already made. We are looking at that number, and Democrats are willing to go more than halfway on this.
On Friday, hundreds of thousands federal employees will face furloughs, agencies will be shuttered and new government benefits suspended if Congress doesn’t act to reopen cash flow to federal government operations.
Republicans have threatened not to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, which Clyburn calls a political ploy.
The debt ceiling is always a problem, but it’s something that we all must work through while we get things under control. We know that the debt is a big problem. We want to reduce the debt, we want to get rid of the deficits, but we cannot do so while playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States of America.