Friday, October 11, 2013

Jason Furman: Senate GOP plan is another ‘ransom’ demand

Jason Furman is pictured. | AP PhotoTop White House economics adviser Jason Furman on Thursday dismissed elements of a potential budget offer by Senate Republicans as “another form of ransom.”

He also questioned why House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would push ahead with a plan to raise the debt limit but not reopen the government, although he added that the White House has yet to see any legislation.

“There is just no reason to do that,” Furman said at a breakfast hosted by the Center for American Progress. “Every day the shutdown goes on, the effects get worse. I don’t know why you’d want to deal with one of them and not deal with the other.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been gauging support within the GOP conference to temporarily raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government in return for a handful of policy proposals, such as a repeal of the medical device tax in the health care law.

But Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, repeated the White House’s hard line against negotiating until the government shutdown ends and country’s borrowing authority is extended.

“If every six weeks you have some other thing that you are adding and trying to extract in exchange for just doing your basic business of keeping the government funded — and by the way, just at sequester level for six weeks — and not defaulting for six weeks, that is not a remotely tenable way to function,” Furman said.

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