Durbin to GOP: ‘You break it, you own it’

The second most powerful Democrat in the Senate warned Republicans Sunday that
they are toying with a fragile economy and would take the blame for any fallout
from a debt default.

On Sunday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he
had six words of warning for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio): “If you break
it, you own it.”

{mosads}Republicans and the White House have argued the case that the president “owns”
the economy, along with its recovery.

Durbin slammed Boehner for calling off debt-ceiling negotiations with the White
House on Friday.

“The president negotiated with you in good faith,” Durbin
said he would tell Boehner. “You walked away from it. Twice.”

Boehner said he called off negotiations with the president on Friday because
the president pushed for increased revenues beyond the level to which
Republicans could agree. President Obama said Boehner walked away from a good
deal for both sides.

Republicans have said they expect failed deficit
negotiations to reflect badly on President Obama’s leadership.

“[Republicans] want to make this a campaign issue,” Durbin said, pushing back
against Boehner and other Republicans including Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl
(R-Ariz.) who have criticized the president for wanting even a temporary raise
of the debt ceiling to last through the next election.

The White House has said that extending the debt ceiling at least in until 2013
will remove politics from the equation. Boehner said Sunday that the president
is “worried about his next election” rather than thinking about the country.

Durbin argued that a short-term extension of the debt ceiling that only lasted
a few months would be bad for the country.

“This notion that we’re going to replay this movie in four to five months, that
we’re going to face this whole thing all over again? The American economy is
too fragile,” Durbin said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “It’s going to hurt us. It’s
going to stall our economy.”

Senate Democratic leadership has been working nonstop to reach a deal,
according to Durbin. “It needs to happen today,” he said, indicating Democrats
are working under a deadline similar to that of the Republicans. Boehner’s
office said Republicans intend to release a plan by before the Asian markets
open Sunday afternoon.

Tags Boehner Dick Durbin John Boehner
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