Debt Showdown is “Political Theater” Burdening Society’s Most Vulnerable

JUAN GONZALEZ: After weeks of infighting, Republicans have agreed to vote on a budget plan they say will cut the deficit $917 billion over 10 years. The move sets the stage for a [showdown] against unified Democratic opposition in the Senate. Independent Senators Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders are promising to block it. White House spokesman James Carney warned yesterday that time is running out to reach a compromise. Carney also said Treasury Department officials may soon have to decide who will get government checks and who won’t, if the Treasury loses borrowing authority.

PRESS SECRETARY JAY CARNEY: Among the many obligations we have, the 80 million checks that the Treasury Department alone issues, payments that it issues every month, of the 1.2 billion payments the federal government makes in a year, those include veterans’ payments, Social Security payments, disability payments. They include the bills to contractors, small businesses, big businesses, that do work with the government, the people who manufacture the ammunition that we send to our troops in Afghanistan. And choices then have to be made. And it’s a Sophie’s choice, right? Who do you save? Who do you pay? That’s an impossible situation that this country has never faced, and should never face, if Congress does what it was elected to do and does its job.

AMY GOODMAN: White House spokesperson Jay Carney.

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