Lew calls shutdown deal a 'turning point'

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Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday that last week’s deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling should represent a new way of functioning for lawmakers in Washington.

“There was a turning point on Wednesday night, and [the crisis] won’t happen again,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It can’t happen again.”

Lew pointed to statements from Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) that seemed to rule out future shutdowns, especially over ObamaCare.

What leaders in Washington need to do, Lew said, is move forward from Wednesday’s agreement and “show that we can work together.”

In an op-ed scheduled to be published in Monday’s edition of The International New York Times, Lew added that the government shutdown and debt-ceiling fight was a “political crisis, not an economic one.”

In the article, he maintained that “America’s leaders are committed, on a bipartisan basis, to doing the right thing for our economy and our standing around the world.”

He urged leaders to avoid future shutdowns, reach a deficit-cutting budget deal that closes “wasteful tax loopholes” and ends across-the-board sequestration cuts and pass the farm bill and immigration reform.

On Sunday, Lew said that the shutdown and the crisis about potentially breaching the debt limit took a toll on the economy.

He said that the crisis “took an economy that is fighting hard to get good economic growth going … and it put it in the wrong direction.”

“Our job in Washington is to put things in the right direction,” he said.