Senator Chuck Schumer cheered President Obama’s prime-time address to the American people tonight, in which the president said a group of House Republicans was unwilling to accept a compromise debt ceiling deal that would raise some revenues.
“The President placed the blame for this deadlock where it belongs—squarely on the shoulders of an extreme bloc within the House Republicans that refuses to compromise even one inch,” Schumer said in a statement emailed shortly after the speech. “As the President made clear, their approach will drive the U.S. economy over a cliff, and take millions of American families’ budgets with it.”
While House Speaker John Boehner continued to push his own proposal for raising the debt ceiling, in a separate address after Obama’s, but Schumer said the focus should be on the plan offered by Senate Democrats, and their Majority Leader, Harry Reid.
“The only viable solution at this late stage is Senator Reid’s plan that would cut $2.7 trillion from the debt and avert a catastrophic default,” Schumer said. “Reports that Speaker Boehner’s plan would perhaps cause a credit-rating downgrade give even further momentum to the Senate proposal. Americans hope Speaker Boehner will show the courage to resist the clarion call of those on the extreme right and work out a bipartisan compromise.”
It’s unclear whether the president’s direct appeal for the public to contact their members of Congress will have much bearing in the week remaining before the country would face default on August 2.