CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Local 12 caught up with Congressmen Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Greg Landman (D-Ohio) Thursday morning.
We asked Rep. Wenstrup, what his thoughts are on raising the debt ceiling.
If you’ve been around this long enough, you know that we always pay our bills right at the end of the day. We pay our bills, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a discussion, and it should be bipartisan, for that matter, having a discussion of how we can try to avoid being in this situation again,” Rep. Wenstrup said. “Why do so many think it’s just okay to keep increasing our debt? And then there’s others that say this is dangerous, as I talked about today, and I think it is dangerous. So, why not have a discussion, just as you would within your family to say, ‘Hey, we can’t just keep running up the credit card here. At some point, we must start making a change or we lose our house, we lose our home, we lose our car. Something’s got to change.’ So, for the federal government to just keep borrowing, it’s dangerous, and part of our debt is it goes to the interest on our debt, goes into mandatory spending. So, you think about all the programs, whether it’s military or housing, whatever the case may be, that’s all under discretionary spending, and so, when you have this pie of money and the interest on the debt is a big part of that pie of money, you keep shrinking what you have available for the programs that you do like. Yet, you may feel the federal government has a huge part in it. So, having that conversation to me is adult and it’s something that we should do. Now, I heard on the radio today and I don’t know who said it, but as I’m driving over here today, I heard the reporter say, ‘Well, Democrats say talking about reducing the debt is a nonstarter.’ I would like to know why. Why is that a nonstarter to talk about it and to try and do something to quit adding to our debt. At least, let’s quit adding to our debt, and if we can even reduce it, isn’t that better? I think about this when I go to vote on many things. Will this bill make Americans more free, which is what our foundation is all about? Individual freedom will just make Americans more free, and will the next generation say ‘thank you?’ I don’t think they’re going to say ‘thank you’ for spending money for things they’ll never use, and they’ll have to pay for it.
Local 12 then asked if Rep. Wenstrup will vote to raise the debt ceiling.
I think eventually we will, but again, it’s not fair,” he said. “Like I said, we always end up paying our bills. I don’t think I’ll vote for [a measure] that is just [a] flat increase the debt ceiling without a conversation and some changes made, whether they’re policy changes, something that brings us in a better direction, so we don’t just keep telling up our debt.
Local 12 also spoke with Rep. Landsman about the debt ceiling after a ceremonial swearing in Thursday morning.
We asked Rep. Landsman what his plan is to try and help get a measure passed to raise the debt ceiling.
One of the most important things that this Congress is going to have to do is deal with the debt ceiling and ensure that we don’t default on our loans. If we default on our loans, we will send the economy into a tailspin and millions of Americans will lose their jobs,” Rep. Landsman said. “So, while some want this debate to be about spending, it’s a very important debate. Let’s talk about spending and deal with the budget. The debt ceiling and paying our debt is a very different conversation. That conversation is about whether or not we are going to default on our loans and send millions and millions of people to unemployment lines. I’m not going to be part of defaulting on our loans. So, I have joined a group of 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans who are going to work on any number of big bipartisan issues — getting the debt ceiling done, passing a budget and protecting social security, Medicare — that’s going to be top of the list.
Local 12 followed up by asking what he will do to try and get moderate Republicans to come over to the side that wants to raise the debt ceiling.
So, a couple of things. One is I have joined this group of 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans. They’re going to be very instrumental in getting the debt ceiling and the budget resolution, and in a way where we do not touch social security or Medicare. The idea that they want to cut social security and Medicare is a nonstarter with voters, and it would be terrible for families and for our economy,” Rep. Landsman said. “So, being part of that group, being part of those conversations, making sure that people are talking and working through whatever the issues are so that we can figure out a way to get this to the floor and get it passed is going to be hugely important. Then, talking about it constantly and making sure that people understand, my colleagues understand, that spending is one debate. Paying your debts, that’s another one, and if you default on your loans, you’re going to send this economy into a tailspin and you’re going to have to look into the eyes of millions of Americans and say, ‘I was responsible for this.’ They’re going to have to do that and say, ‘I caused this,’ and I don’t think, despite their rhetoric, that they’re willing to send this economy into a tailspin, and millions of people would lose their job. I don’t think they’ll do it.