The United States of America is exactly four days away from debt ceiling Armageddon, so politicians of all stripes crowded the Sunday talk show circuit to point fingers and wax poetically about what the other side might do better. Rand Paul led the way with the obvious, Politico reports, saying, "it's not a good idea to go through the debt ceiling deadline. I think we should go ahead and have an agreement in advance." But he blasted President Obama as "irresponsible" for using scare tactics. "The leader of the country should be soothing the markets and saying, 'We will always pay the interest on our debt,'" Paul said, adding that, "There's absolutely no reason ever to default." Elsewhere on your Sunday dial, as per Politico:
- Susan Collins: "I think also that the president should have brought the leaders to the White House far earlier than he did, because real harm is being done." But, "Just last night, I had two more Democrats and a Republican contact me to offer suggestions and say they wanted to be part of my group. I do believe we're going to see a resolution this week." Amy Klobuchar agreed that a deal would be in place by Thursday.
- Lindsey Graham: "I’m not going to vote for any plan that I don’t think can get a majority of Republicans in the House. The sooner this is over, the better for (the GOP)."
- John McCain: "I hope the president will become engaged. Maybe we need to get Joe Biden out of the witness protection program. I'm very disappointed the president of the United States has not played a more active role in this."
- IMF chief Christine Lagarde: "You have to honor your signature. You have to give certainty to the rest of the world." She criticized conservatives who have said the US should prioritize debt payments, saying, "creative accounting is not the solution, and markets know that."
- And Senate Chaplain Barry Black: “Any objective observer would see a certain insanity in some of the things that have happened in this government shutdown. I’ve had senators who’ve told me, ‘I’m thinking differently about the way I’m voting because of some of the things you’ve said.’” What's it going to take? “Humility.”
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