In Tuesday’s interview with Atlanta Journal –Constitution’s Kyle Wingfield, U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga) said that results of the upcoming debt ceiling debate depend on what stance the President takes on the issues of revenue and entitlement reform.
While President Barack Obama made it clear that he is not interested in negotiations when it comes to the debt ceiling (see video), Chambliss said that Obama did express his support for entitlement reform and a $3 spending cuts for every $1 tax increase - ratio.
“If [Obama's] serious about that, then … the likelihood of a shutdown would certainly be minimized,” said the Georgia senator. “If he gets his back up and says, ‘We’ll only do this if we get more revenue,’ then I’d say the chances of a shutdown are pretty good. … If he wants to get serious, show the world marketplace that we are going to lead in this area, he’ll have that opportunity. If he doesn’t, then something dramatic has got to happen, and a shutdown could be it.”
One former Georgia lawmaker who would probably agree with this plan, Newt Gingrich, said recently on “Meet the Press” that when he was a Speaker of the House, the shutdown of federal government was a turning point for getting President Bill Clinton on board with significant fiscal reforms.
“They [Republicans] don't have to say, ‘We're going to be wimps,’” said Gingrich last Sunday on NBC’s morning program. “I've helped close the government twice. It actually worked. Bill Clinton came in and said, ‘The era of big government's over,’ after two closings. Not before.”
The debt ceiling currently stands at $16.4 trillion.