Dem lawmaker compares Tea Party members to 'arsonists'

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) compared Tea Party Republicans to "arsonists" who were willing to "slash and burn" to make a political point.

"The Tea Partiers and the GOP have made their slash and burn lunacy clear, and while I do not love this compromise, my vote is a hose to stop the burning. The arsonists must be stopped," Gutierrez said in a statement on Monday.

Gutierrez said that while the deal to increase the debt ceiling negotiated by President Obama and congressional leaders on Sunday isn't perfect, it's far better than what could have happened in the bill's absence.
 
"The damage this bill will do to the people of the Fourth District, Chicago, and the country is real and lasting but pales in comparison to the damage the GOP was willing to do to the American and world economies to make a political point," Gutierrez continued. "It isn't worth the risk."

Gutierrez's statement comes a day after Obama and congressional leaders agreed to the debt deal. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the deal cuts $2.1 trillion in the deficit while also raising the debt ceiling by an equal amount. A number of House Democrats have criticized the deal for having cuts that they say are too drastic. Still, these Democrats have said they plan to vote for it because the alternative would be much worse.

"We have a choice – compromise or chaos, and I’m choosing compromise.  I will vote for the bill and hope we can close this distasteful chapter in American politics," Gutierrez said.  I urge every reasonable legislator in this House to choose an imperfect compromise over a perfect catastrophe.  This manufactured crisis that has cost billions already and could have cost the country many trillions more. Compromise in the face of a lunatic's demands is an act of sanity.  Let's move on."