Reps. Frank, Markey Not Optimistic Congress Will Meet Default Deadline
At least two Massachusetts congressmen say they are not optimistic that Congress can reach a compromise on the nation's debt crisis before next week.
The House is set to vote Thursday on Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the debt ceiling.
Rep. Ed Markey joined Rep. Barney Frank in saying he will not vote for Boehner's plan because it would do little to ease the crisis.
"The Boehner plan does not in any way approximate what the problem is in terms of the cloud over the economy," Markey said.
Under Boehner's plan, Markey says that economic "cloud" would "still be there.
"It just isn't big enough. And if that's the case, then I think there are trillions of dollars of private sector investment that are going to stay on the sideline, and that is the key to the revival of our economy," he said.
Markey said he would support:
Something that looks more like something President Obama had been proposing, something that had a fair mix of increased taxes and, at the same time, cuts, but done in a way that did not hurt the poor and did not jeopardize the long-term investment in the kinds of programs we need to grow the economy.
Frank said Boehner's plan is "irrational," in part because it would extend the debt ceiling now and require another vote next year.
"Having it done only for a few months and having to do it again next year is purely motivated, in some sense, that it gives you a 2012 electoral advantage," Frank said.
Answering the question about an appropriate way to raise the debt limit and come up with cuts to address the nation's deficit, Frank said:
There are two separate issues here: Do we meet our obligations to pay debts already incurred? And I say yes. If debts were incurred we have to pay them.
Secondly, I would be for a compromise now, which would cut military spending significantly. It would put caps on domestic spending as well, because I agree that that's unfortunately a case where, there are things that I'd like to see done, but can't be done. It would say that the top 2 percent [of people] would pay higher taxes.
Markey said he does support giving Obama authority to unilaterally raise the debt limit. Frank said he does not.
This program aired on July 28, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.