Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) asserted this week that the government shutdown could actually keep the U.S. from defaulting on its debts if and when Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling -- unless President Barack Obama is plotting a conspiracy not to pay the nation's bills.
"He's been saying ever since the shutdown and before the shutdown that he's willing to talk," Gohmert told Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg on Tuesday. "But he will not negotiate on anything, and he's the one who keeps bringing up the threat of default and that kind of stuff. You know, it's ridiculous to have a president that is trying to inflict as much hurt on the American people as possible."
"Do you believe that this president will let this country face the disaster that it will face if the debt ceiling -- if we default?" Malzberg wondered. "Do you believe he will take it that far and inflict the pain to a much greater extent than he's inflicting it now?"
"That's a possibility when you look at what he has done so far," Gohmert agreed. "They don't mind seeing America suffer. And when you know -- as I know you do -- that we have enough money coming in every week to pay our -- to keep from defaulting -- now, we may have to keep some folks furloughed. Because as we know now, 94 percent of the [Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)] is non-essential. You know, we may have to ask some folks that are non-essential to stay home for a while longer.
"But there is no reason we should ever, ever default on our debts unless the president and the treasury secretary conspire to make us default," he added.
The Texas Republican went on to insist that the Obama administration was spending more money than it was saving by closing monuments and national parks during the government shutdown.
"But we know he is willing to spend money just to inflict hurt," he opined. "So, it's hard to say what people like that would be willing to do. And I think it has more to do with Chicago thuggery. You know, Al Capone was willing to make people hurt if they didn't go along with the proposals."
As for the president's call for Congress to be allowed to vote on a "clean" continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government without crippling the health care reform law, Gohmert predicted that it would never pass.
"There's no such thing as a clean CR," Gohmert remarked. "He just wants his big sack of cash. And forget the Constitution. We're moving toward monarchy here, where we want the money, no strings attached. Well, the Constitution attaches strings."
"But there's plenty of pork, there's plenty of lard. There is no such thing as a clean CR. It will be a dirty, nasty, porkified budget or appropriation, and so we have an obligation to try to do what we can to cut some of the waste, fraud and abuse."