In a wide-ranging interview on Talk Business, Second District Congressman Tim Griffin (R-Little Rock) said he was currently a "no" vote on raising the country’s debt ceiling, but he did lay out philosophical terms for converting his position.
"I’m a ‘no’ right now. I understand what a big deal it is. I have studied it extensively," said Griffin, a first-term Republican from Little Rock who was elected last November by a 58-38% margin. He said that raising the debt ceiling has to be tied to a meaningful promise to curtail future spending.
"What’s it going to take for me to vote yes?" Griffin said. "What I want to do is get some substantive, structural changes agreed to by the President and the Senate so that we can know that we’re going to take that spending curve that is skyrocketing upward and start bending it down so that we can see some end to this mess."
In the interview, Griffin also sought to explain controversial positions on budget cuts, including Medicare and defense spending. Griffin said that he was planning legislation to require the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to provide Congress audited financial statements – which he contends they’ve never done though required by law – in order to look for more cuts in this budget silo.
"I am working on some legislation that would set some benchmarks and require them (Defense) to check in with Congress and tell us how they’re doing," Griffin said.
"Every taxpayer dollar is precious – whether it’s at DoD or somewhere else – and we’ve got to make sure it’s being spent wisely. I can’t look you in the eye, or that camera, and tell you that all the money at DoD is being spent wisely because I know it’s not. And I can’t even tell you that all of it’s being spent on national security because it’s not," he added.
Additionally, Griffin discussed Pres. Obama releasing his birth certificate last week in an effort to mollify critics. Griffin also said that he would be "very engaged" in next year’s Presidential election although he has not settled on a GOP candidate. You can watch the full interview below.
After the Talk Business interview, Obama revealed that U.S. troops had captured and killed terrorist Osama Bin Laden. In a follow-up phone interview, Griffin commented on the military operation, which you can read about here.