Toomey: GOP should be ready to shut down government

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who voted for Tuesday's debt deal averting the worst of the so-called "fiscal cliff," said Republicans should be prepared to shut down the government when Congress votes on the debt ceiling in two months.  

"We Republicans need to be willing to tolerate a temporary, partial government shutdown," Toomey said. "We absolutely have to have this fight over the debt limit."

Toomey was defending his vote for a bill that raises taxes by arguing that the debt ceiling will be the real opportunity. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made a similar argument on Tuesday. 

Early on in negotiations, President Obama pushed for a deal that would make it possible to raise the debt ceiling over congressional objections. Republicans rejected that proposal. 

The deal cobbled together in the past few days does not raise the debt ceiling, leaving the Treasury to use what it calls “extraordinary measures” as long as it can to pay the government’s bills. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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Rachel Weiner · January 2, 2013