I interviewed Senator Jon Kyl on Friday about a number of topics. The complete transcript is here.
When I asked the senator if the his colleagues in the GOP senate caucus would support the House budget authored by Paul Ryan, Kyl said that Senator Reid “will be very surprised to know that my guess is all, or very close to all of the Republicans in the Senate will say the same thing the guys in the House did, namely it is time to get serious about this, and of course we support it.”
“And then we will say how about you?,” Kyl continued. “Do you support the President’s budget? Even the President no longer is supportive of his budget. Remember the speech that he gave about three weeks ago said okay, I recognize that isn’t going to do the trick, but I really don’t like where Paul Ryan stands. I think I’m going to propose something yet different. So of course I guess then the question is which of Obama’s budgets would we vote on?”
I also asked the GOP whip about the timing of the debt ceiling vote. His answer:
The most likely scenario would be that by the end of June, we will have done something. But you’re right. The dates go all the way from May to September, and the reason is if you stop and think about it, you make a certain amount of money, you get your paycheck every two weeks, you’ve got a bunch of bills that come in. Sometimes, you’ve got so many bills coming in that you need to juggle the payment of the bills until after the paycheck comes in. And you may be late a couple of days on a couple of those bills, but you’ve got to wait until the money comes in. Well, that’s the same way with our budget. We are not borrowing 42 cents of every dollar the federal government spends. So naturally, there are a lot of bills coming in, and we don’t necessarily have the tax revenues every month to pay all of those bills. All it means is that the Treasury has to juggle the bills. Now it puts the first one, the most important ones first, so to speak. So it’s going to send out the Social Security checks, and it’s going to pay the Medicare bills. And by the way, it’s going to pay the Chinese creditors when their bonds come due and so on. But it might hold off on some other expenditures that aren’t as time sensitive. And you can do that for a matter of several months. Ultimately, however, borrowing 42 cents of every dollar you spend, you’ve got to figure out how to either reduce your spending, or get more revenue. And that’s why the debt ceiling has to go up so we can borrow some more money. That’s the argument that the President makes. And that probably would need to be done no later than the end of July, would be my guess.