As the national debt nears its congressionally set limit, both House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that not raising the debt ceiling is not an option -- although they disagree on how future budgets should address closing the budget gap.
"Now instead of risking government shutdown we are risking a second recession," Durbin said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I listened to Speaker Boehner's comments earlier in the program -- I hope he understands clearly that if we default on America's debt with this debt ceiling, It will have a dramatic negative impact on America's economy. It will spin us into a second recession. We don't need that."
"What I do think is, yes, it would be catastrophic to have the nation default upon its debt," Hensarling said. "But I think in some respects it presents a false premise."
Hensarling added that raising the limit would useless without getting government spending under control.
"The president is going to have to cut up the credit cards," he said. "He's going to have to work with us to cut up the credit cards and put the nation on a fiscally sustainable path, otherwise we're going to continue to lose jobs and we're going to bankrupt our children."
While agreeing that spending had to be cut, Durbin said Republicans had to cast take a approach to reducing budget deficits.
"They do not talk about responsibility for those in the highest income categories. They continue to give them lavish tax cuts. They don't talk about spending cuts and savings in the Pentagon. Well we certainly can save money there," Durbin said. "Let's put everything together on the table."