As negotiations stall and then resume on whether to raise the debt ceiling continue in Washington, President Obama calls for compromise, but says he will not extend the deadline. He says it’s time to “Pull of the band-aid; eat our peas.”
Missouri’s congressional delegates are split not in two, but in three directions on how to raise the debt ceiling and whether to do it at all.
Southeast Missouri Congresswoman JoAnn Emerson says she thinks the Republicans are pushing for compromise as well; she’s joined by her Republican colleague Blaine Luetkemeyer, who represents Central Missouri, in saying cuts still need to be made and the tax structure realigned but that the debt ceiling needs to be raised.
Most Republicans have said they will not support a tax increase, but have indicated they’d be willing to scale back on the cuts to government programs — about $4 trillion worth — they had originally proposed. The number now being thrown around is about $2.5 trillion.
However, some Republicans, such as Representative Todd Akin of St. Louis County says he’s against lifting the debt ceiling at all. He says it’s an opportunity to change the way America operates, pointing to the constitutional requirement that Missouri and other states run on a balanced budget each year. He says it’s time Washington do the same.
At the other end of the spectrum, St. Louis Congressman Lacy Clay says “no” to cutting Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security services. He says those are the very people in the nation that cannot shoulder any more of the burden. Clay points to oil companies and others who are making big profit margins and says taxes should be increased on such corporations. Republicans have made it clear that they do stand unified on that topic and will not support any tax increases.
Despite the discord among the two parties as well as within them, Missouri’s congressional delegates say they believe a compromise can be reached in a week or ten days.