Reluctantly, Welch Would Support Senate Debt Ceiling Plan

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(Host) Congressman Peter Welch says he would "reluctantly" support one of the Senate plans to end the impasse over the federal government’s ability to continue borrowing money.

VPR’s Patti Daniels reports:

(Daniels) Last week Senator Mitch McConnell proposed that Congress give President Obama the temporary authority to raise the debt ceiling himself. That would ensure that U-S wouldn’t default on its debt come August 2nd.

Speaking Monday on Vermont Edition, Welch said it’s not his preferred approach to solving the stalemate, but he’d support it:

(Welch) "The McConnell plan is very indirect, but it would in effect allow for an extension of the debt ceiling with the senators abdicating their responsibility to say yes or no explicitly. They would delegate the authority to the president to allow it to happen, but then reserve the right to criticize the president for doing that which they allowed." 

(Daniels) Welch says that’s the kind of political maneuver that contributes to a low public opinion of Congress. 

He says he would prefer for Congress to vote on the debt ceiling question by itself, and separate it from negotiations over the federal budget.

Welch says he hasn’t decided yet if he’ll support a different McConnell proposal that may include more than a trillion dollars in budget cuts. That’s because details of that plan are still being worked out.

For VPR News, I’m Patti Daniels.

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