Cornyn: Partial government shutdown may be necessary

January 4, 2013

A partial government shutdown may be necessary to ensure the nation's long-term fiscal stability, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) writes in an op-ed published on Friday. 

"The coming deadlines will be the next flashpoints in our ongoing fight to bring fiscal sanity to Washington," Cornyn writes in the Houston Chronicle. "It may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain. President Obama needs to take note of this reality and put forward a plan to avoid it immediately." 

After making concessions on tax rates in the deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," Republicans appear to believe they have new leverage in the upcoming negotiations over the raising the debt ceiling. GOP congressional leaders intend to demand spending cuts in exchange for approving any rise in the federal borrowing limit. President Obama, though, has warned that he will not be negotiating with Republicans over the limit. 

Cornyn, recently elected as Senate Minority Whip, appears to be taking a hard-line stance as well, by underscoring the importance of spending cuts in future fiscal negotiations and demonstrating a willingness to tolerate a shutdown in the absence of an acceptable deal. 

"Republicans are more determined than ever to implement the spending cuts and structural entitlement reforms that are needed to secure the long-term fiscal integrity of our country," writes Cornyn.  

Cornyn's op-ed came just days after Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said that Republicans should be ready to tolerate a partial government shutdown in the battle over the debt limit.

Sean Sullivan covers national politics for “The Fix.”
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Sean Sullivan | January 4, 2013