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Senators Weigh in on Heavy Debt

Dan Warner
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - Congress continues to disagree on a plan to sandbag against the swelling national debt.
Senator Claire McCaskill said she is frustrated with the lack of cooperation in Congress to find a solution, and it seems that no one is willing to stop “playing politics” and solve the problem.
“Someone, the other day, asked me if I thought the seventeen percent approval rate for Congress was fair, and I said ‘Frankly, I think it may be too high,'” McCaskill said. “I’m frustrated that we cannot come together and compromise and make real progress on our debt structure.”
McCaskill said Congress must focus on what is best for the country rather than winning elections.
She also criticized treatment of subsidies for Missouri corn farmers.
“Why is it okay to go after the subsidies for ethanol, but it’s not okay to go after the subsidies for the wealthiest corporations in the history of the planet?” McCaskill said.
Politicians must be willing to separate from the base of their party and find a middle ground, McCaskill said. She said the solution to the national debt must come from changing entitlement programs as well as cutting subsidies to large corporations.
Senator Roy Blunt said the solution to the national debt will not be found in tax increases. He said it is up to President Obama to find a way to raise the national debt limit, but he has missed the opportunity to raise taxes.
“If the President wanted to increase taxes, the president should have increased taxes when he had huge majorities in the House and the Senate,” Blunt said.
Blunt said Obama has talked about tax increases, but because he did not do so when his party had control, he will not be able to do so now.
“Not only would I not be for it, but it’s a waste of time conversation – it’s not going to happen,” Blunt said. “The President now has to figure out what can be done, not what he’d like to do, but what’s possible to do, and raising taxes is not one of the possible things.”
Blunt also discussed his decision not to commit to any new pledges, saying that committing to too many pledges can then restrict negotiations.
“I don’t really think that negotiations benefit from members taking positions that are absolute,” Blunt said.
Blunt said he will uphold the pledges that he has already made.
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