Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), a key negotiator in recent debt ceiling talks, acknowledged that some House Republicans may be emboldened from the recent debt negotiations and said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a government shutdown when Congress debates the appropriations bills in the fall.
He maintained, however, that he was hopeful Republicans can continue “to build upon the success that we were able to achieve in debt ceiling negotiations.”
“I’m not ruling out anything. It depends on how reasonable each side is obviously in the negotiations,” Graves told Margaret Brennan when asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about the possibility of a government shutdown. “It’s very difficult to predict, but I want to be clear, Republicans are going to demand continuing to build upon the success that we were able to achieve in debt ceiling negotiations, in changing the way that Washington spends.”
Graves criticized the approach taken by members of the far-right faction of his conference that opposed the debt and spending bill, saying the way they exercised their leverage, “really threatened the economy in a large way,” and that, “We can’t continue to see challenges like that.”
“Their goals are trying to change the trajectory of spending, transform Washington in a way that’s more responsive, long term, thinking about the next generation and the fiscal crisis that we’re approaching. I don’t think that should be a partisan issue. We should all be on board with those objectives. In this case, I think that leverage was trying to be exercised that really threatened the economy in a large way,” Graves said.
“We can’t continue to see those types of challenges. And so I do think that in the appropriations process, we are going to be working hard to continue the momentum that we’ve gained through this negotiation,” Graves added.
Graves signaled he was optimistic about future opportunities to work on policy areas across the aisle, pointing to energy, budget and immigration as potential areas for compromise.
The negotiations certainly were in good faith, but they also included a lot of candor. We had some tense moments throughout, but I’d love to tell you that we can build upon this. We certainly have a crisis in the energy space. We continue to have a financial crisis and as you indicated, immigration is a huge issue where we should be able to work together,” Graves said.
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