GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Wednesday called on the president to “tell the truth” in the ongoing debt-ceiling debate.
Bachmann said President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner have misled the public into believing the U.S. will fail to make good on its interest payments to foreign creditors and military members should leaders fail to raise the current debt ceiling before the White House deadline of Aug. 2.
“We cannot go on scaring the American people; we need to be truthful and I call on the president and the treasury secretary to tell the truth,” Bachmann said.
She contends that regardless of whether the debt ceiling is raised, the federal government will continue to receive revenues that the Treasury Department will have to direct to certain priorities.
Treasury has repeatedly said that after Aug. 2 it no longer will have enough money to pay U.S. creditors and the rest of the country’s bills. Obama, Geithner and leaders of the business community have warned of economic peril if the ceiling isn’t raised.
Flanked by fellow Tea Party favorites, Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) at a press conference on their bill to ensure that military pay continues should the U.S. hit the debt limit, Bachmann attacked Obama for telling CBS News that Social Security checks and veterans benefits might be withheld if no deal to raise the current $14.3 trillion debt limit is reached within the next three weeks.
“We were all shocked and appalled that President Obama dangled out in front of the cameras that senior citizens may not get their checks,” Bachmann said. “That’s a very dangerous statement to make, [and] we don’t believe that for a moment. As we said, there are sufficient funds in the Social Security Trust Fund right now to make sure that they get checks.”
King, who acknowledged that he doesn’t know what would happen if leaders failed to increase the borrowing authority before the Aug. 2 deadline, joined Bachmann and Gohmert in backing legislation they say would make sure military pay isn’t used as leverage by the White House or their own leadership if an 11th-hour deal comes together.
Gohmert said withholding military pay played a major factor in the House GOP’s support for a deal to prevent the government shutdown in April.
“Our military members, who are in harm's way — I’m sorry, they were used by both sides as pawns in the political game of the continuing resolution,” Gohmert said. “Both sides used them.”