Dem lawmaker warns GOP on debt-ceiling ploys

Standard & Poor's Rating Services newly released "negative" outlook on the U.S.'s long-term debt makes clear that lawmakers opposed to raising the debt ceiling without other reforms are "really playing with fire," Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) said Monday.

Levin, said Monday that lawmakers who don't want to raise America's debt ceiling as part of a long-term federal spending plan are "playing with fire."



"I think it's very clear: Don't play games with the debt ceiling," Levin, the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Monday on ABC's "Topline."

"We have to act, we can't tie it to anything because if our credit goes bad, it has catastrophic implications,” Levin said. "Look what happened to the stock market already, and if we continue to try to tread and combine it with other things, we're really playing with fire. Don't do it. That's my message to the Republicans."

Levin's comments come in response to conservative opposition to raising the debt ceiling without significant federal spending cuts or other fiscal reforms. Last week, Tea Party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said he was considering going as far as filibustering a vote to raise the debt limit if it doesn't also include other economic policy reforms.

Also on Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney argued that the new S&P rating underscored the need for Democrat and Republican lawmakers to compromise on the long-term federal budget, which included raising the debt ceiling. Carney had previously said failing to raise the debt ceiling could have "Armageddon-like" implications for the American economy.