Third District Cong. Steve Womack (R ) tells MarketWatch that he’s ready to get the budget battle behind Congress and move on to the “potentially catastrophic” issue of dealing with the debt ceiling.

The current debt ceiling stands at $16.7 trillion and Congress is staring at the need to raise it to avoid defaulting on U.S. debt.  The debt limit has been raised 13 times since 2001 and has grown from about 55% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2001 to 102% of GDP last year.

From MarketWatch:

MarketWatch : What do you think about passing a “clean” continuing resolution?

Womack : My preference is, I would like to get this current budget debate behind us. Because it is taking our attention away from the much more important battle that looms and that is elevating the debt ceiling of the United States of America and the potential for a default on our obligations. To me that is a much bigger issue for this Congress and I would like for that discussion to be going on right now. It’s hard to do when you have the current fight over the budget, over the issues regarding the continuing resolution.

So from that standpoint I would like for the Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, to get this issue behind us once and for all; end the hardships that are occurring across this country, that are being well-publicized. And get our attention immediately focused on this debt ceiling and beyond that, our capacity to address those issues that are continuing to take America down a road that is not sustainable and that is potentially catastrophic to our nation.

Womack also tells MarketWatch he’s not optimistic any concessions on Obamacare can occur in the drawn-out budget battle that has led to a federal government shutdown.

“I think the American public pretty well understand how opposed we are to this law. But it comes down to arithmetic. We don’t have the votes and we’ve proven we don’t have the votes to turn things over in the Senate,” Womack said.

He also touches on the Marketplace Fairness bill that he’s been supportive of. Read the full interview here.

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