McConnell: GOP doesn't want any 'drama' during debt-ceiling discussions

McConnell said Republicans would be able to force the issue of spending reductions when Congress votes to increase the debt ceiling in the next two months and that President Obama has to be involved in the conversation.

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“We cannot agree to increase that borrowing limit without agreeing to reforms that lower the avalanche of spending that’s creating this debt in the first place,” McConnell said. “The American people will not tolerate the kind of last-minute crises that we’ve seen again and again over the past four years as a result of this president’s chronic inactivity and refusal to lead on the pressing issues of the day.

“We don’t need speeches. We need action, now. And we need courage. Because the only way we’re going to address the spending that’s at the root of our nation’s fiscal problems is if the president is willing to bring the members of his party to the table, and get them to rise above the partisan voices on the left who treat every penny of government spending as sacred.”

McConnell cited several examples of what he considers wasteful spending that he said could easily be cut.

“I mean, if we can’t stop spending taxpayer dollars on robo-squirrels and dancing robot DJs, or hot-air balloon rides for Smokey the Bear, then there’s no hope,” McConnell said. “Because if we can’t fix the easy stuff — the robo-squirrels and the robot DJs — the things most of us agree on, how are we ever going to get at the hard stuff? And that’s why the first step in this debate is for Democrats to get over their fanatical commitment to guarding every dime the government ever got its hands on. It’s got to stop. There’s also no better time for this debate.”

McConnell negotiated a deal with Vice President Biden earlier this week that avoided the “fiscal cliff.” The plan mainly addressed taxes and postponed the sequestration cuts for two months. Republicans have said they will use the debt-ceiling increase as leverage to get the spending cuts and entitlement reforms they had wanted in the fiscal-cliff deal. 

“The president got his revenue, now it’s time to turn squarely to the real problem, which is spending,” McConnell said. “So over the next few months, it will be up to the president and his party to work with us to deliver the same kind of bipartisan resolution on spending that we have now achieved on taxes — but it needs to happen before the eleventh hour. And for that to happen, the president needs to show up this time.”