On CNN's State of the Union, Sen. Chuck Schumer reiterated just what kind of dangerous game the Republicans are playing when they start threatening to shut down the government or not raise the debt ceiling as some in the House are doing.
Here's more from Sam Stein at the HuffPo -- Chuck Schumer: GOP Risking, 'God Forbid.. A Depression' With Budget Antics:
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned on Sunday that if House Republicans, in an effort to flex their fiscal conservative muscles, held up passage of a budget this coming March, it could send the United States into a deep recession and possibly a depression.
The New York Democrat, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," said that the GOP was "playing with fire" by threatening either to not fund the government or not raise the debt ceiling unless they were first placated with deep spending cuts.
"On March 4 the government-funding resolution expires and it seems that a lot of Republicans in the House want to risk a shutdown of the government if they don't absolutely get their way," said Schumer. "That was a mistake when [former House Speaker] Newt Gingrich tried it in 1995. It would be a bigger mistake now. It is really playing with fire.... you can risk the credit markets really losing some confidence in the United States Treasury and that could create a deeper recession than we had over the last several years or, god forbid, even a depression."
"It is playing with fire to risk the shutting down of the government just as it is playing with fire to risk not paying the debt ceiling," he added.
Go read the rest and full transcript below the fold.
CROWLEY: Let me turn you to domestic policy because it is budget season. It is time to raise the debt ceiling. Otherwise the U.S. is going to lose its ability to pay its debts.
Where do you see this fight going now?
Because, basically, we have a very determined bunch of Republicans right now, particularly on the House side, saying, no way we're going to raise this debt ceiling until we start doing some cutting.
SCHUMER: Well, there's even a problem before the debt ceiling. On March 4th, the government funding resolution expires. And it seems that a lot of Republicans in the House want to risk a shutdown of the government if they don't absolutely get their way.
That was a mistake when Newt Gingrich tried it in 1995. It will be a bigger mistake now. It's really playing with fire because, if they were to shut down the government, not only would horrible things happen like an inability of people to get Social Security checks, you can't fund the military, but ultimately, it risks the credit markets.
They are getting wary because of the large debt we have, which we have to get down, but if they feel that people are willing to shut down the government, you could risk the credit markets really losing some confidence in the United States Treasury, and that could create a deeper recession than we had over the last several years -- God forbid, even a depression.
So I would urge my Republican colleagues, no matter how strongly they feel -- you know, we have three branches of government. We have a House. We have a Senate. We have a president. And all three of us are going to have to come together and give some, but it is playing with fire to risk the shutting down of the government, just as it is playing with fire to risk not paying the debt ceiling.
CROWLEY: So, Senator, just quickly in the minute we have left, where do you see this going?
Because it is not an unpopular position at this point for a politician to say, we're spending too much, and if you can't come to an agreement with the Democratic Senate or the Democratic White House, why would it be so unpopular to say, fine, you know, if you guys won't agree, let's just stop spending and see what happens?
SCHUMER: Well, let's say two things. First, certainly, we in the Senate and the president believes we have to rein in spending. The president called for a five-year freeze on spending. That's rather significant. It saves $400 billion. But you can't just demand your position, particularly the position has kept getting more and more and more over to the right. Originally, they wanted to go down to the 2008 levels, now down to the 2006 levels.
That would cause huge problems. Just one little example: 3,000 food inspectors would be fired, risking the health of our food; 4,000 FBI agents, risking both safety on the streets and antiterrorism.
So what government is all about is having strongly held views, but when not everyone agrees with you, coming to a reasonable position.
We can come to a reasonable agreement that curbs spending. We Democrats showed that when we supported the bipartisan session, McCaskill's proposal, in the last -- in the last budget.
But to just stay in your corner and say, "It's my way or I'm shutting down the government," that could lead to terrible, terrible problems. And I would plead with my new Republican colleagues in the House who seem to want to do this, that that is playing with fire. Please don't do it.
CROWLEY: Senator Chuck Schumer out of New York, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate it. Next...
SCHUMER: Thank you, Candy.