Thune: Economic situation ‘calls out’ for presidential leadership

Lawmakers are still at an impasse on how to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government, which has been shut down for a week now. 

Another fiscal problem quickly approaching is the debt ceiling, which the Department of the Treasury has said needs to be raised by the end of the month or else the government will default on its obligations.

Thune said Republicans simply want to negotiate on how to reduce the debt as part of increasing the debt ceiling, but Obama has said he wants Congress to send him a “clean” debt ceiling increase.

“If you’re going to have a debate about increasing the debt limit, you ought to do something about the debt,” Thune said. “It defies history that we cannot come to the table and cannot negotiate in the issue of the debt limit.”

The United States has $17 trillion of debt. Republicans and Democrats have different ideas on how to address that debt. Democrats want to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations, while Republicans want to cut mandatory spending, such as entitlements.